PARKER COUNTY – Clark Gardens, a 35-acre strolling garden, located in Parker County just east of Mineral Wells, has more than 4,000 varieties of irises blooming.
In 2013 and 2014, Clark Gardens hosted the American Iris Society’s National Show. As a host garden, iris hybridizers from around North America sent their unique iris to Clark Gardens for display. Max Clark, at 86 years old, planted and cared for each and every one of the irises. Clark Gardens hosted the annual convention twice before, in 1997 and 2000.
“Each year Clark Gardens has a beautiful display of irises,” said Clark Gardens Executive Director Carol Clark Montgomery. “With the colder than normal weather in March and April the peak bloom season this year was pushed back into late April and early May. We were receiving phone calls every day from people residing all over North Texas inquiring when the iris bloom would occur. And it’s finally here. Acres of beautiful irises are blooming on the Iris Boulevard, along with hundreds of others blooming throughout the garden; primarily the West Garden and Oxbow Lake. Along with 4,000 varieties of irises blooming, our pink double ruffled poppies are peaking in the West Garden. It’s truly a spectacular sight.”
Coinciding with the peak bloom season is the “Plant it Pink” campaign. During the month of May portions of the sale of all pink blooming plants will be donated to Palo Pinto General Hospital’s “All About Health Fund” supporting breast cancer awareness and education, and the Parker County Health Foundation in partnership with the Careity Foundation providing cost-free mammograms to the under-served citizens of Parker County.
Included in the “Plant It Pink” campaign is an iris named for co-founder Billie Clark. Ms. Clark, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, was a breast cancer survivor. According to Clark Montgomery, “We honor the memory of our co-founder by giving back to organizations she was passionate about.”
Clark Gardens is open daily Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission fees apply, $7 for adults, $5 senior and Children 5-12 years of age; children 4 and under are free.
Clark Gardens is a participating member of the American Horticultural Society’s reciprocal membership program (some restrictions apply-call or visit clarkgardens.org). Cart tours and group rates available with reservations.