Each May, when I was a teenager, my mother and I would go to a neighboring town during bloom time to visit Mr. Grey--an Iris expert who grew and sold hundreds of varieties in straight rows in his suburban yard. We would choose one or two to try in my mother's garden. I still have a yellowed and much cherished typewritten sheet that I follow from Mr. Grey explaining his best practices for dividing, cleaning and planting the tubers. I learned from Mr. Grey that the easiest way to keep track of when to divide iris is to do so every presidential election year.
Yesterday was a glorious, perfect day. Off I went to Upper Montclair to the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.