MISSOULA - The Downtown Holiday Inn was awash in the colors and fragrances of fresh flowers for the Montana Federation of Garden Clubs’ Peony and Iris Show. Titled “Missoula in Bloom”, the competition was a collaboration with the Missoula Garden Club and the Missoula Iris Society.
Being judged on color, symmetry, and standards, flowers from around the Pacific Northwest were in the running for prize ribbons. The show is the 61st annual event for the Missoula Iris Society, and society president Betty Ann Gustafson said she heard a guest say something very encouraging.
“She… (the guest) said, ‘thank you so much for this show. I was feeling so blue and I came out here and saw these wonderful flowers, and that just made me happy,” Gustafson said. “That made all our work good.”
Local gardeners from the clubs manage community gardens at the University of Montana and Fort Missoula. Garden club member Jim Sadler invites everyone to begin growing flowers, saying the hard work is worth the payoff.
“You can have a very modest garden and grow beautiful things, or a very expensive garden,” Sadler said. “Flowers are a great equalizer.”
The Peony and Iris show runs through 6 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn Downtown.