Updated: May 19
Celebrating their 85th Bloom Season, the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens have long been one of Montclair, New Jersey's most beloved community attractions.
Established in 1927, the gardens were founded as a tribute to Frank H. Presby, an active Montclair community member and founder of the American Iris Society. Along with serving as a living memorial, the gardens are an educational outpost and museum dedicated to teaching about the history and care of the iris flower.
According to BHS New Jersey Agent Nancy Skjei, who is also President of the Gardens' Board of Trustees, bloom season this year will likely peak around May 22 and extend to June 3.
Garden tours are held seven days per week from 8:00am to 8:00pm. We ask for a donation of $10.00 per person, which helps fund our operation and maintain the gardens.— Nancy Skjei
The gardens have also debuted their summer live music series, which will take place on the porch of the property's Historic Historic Walther House every Sunday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The music is free for the public to enjoy.
The gardens, which have been recognized as the only international iris garden in the United States, comprise 18 beds of irises in various colors sourced from around the world. They showcase over 14,000 irises spread across 1,500 different species of the flower.
The design is referred to by locals and visitors as "the rainbow on the hill," and for good reason. The picturesque gardens are a must-visit for anyone who wants a colorful photo-op or a peaceful place to enjoy the Garden State's natural beauty.
I love all irises, said Skjei. My absolute favorite is the Song of Norway. It's a very light lilac with a beautiful, medium-purple beard inside.