Iris Sundays

The Russian River Rose Company puts the focus on a different bud.

FLOWER POWER: "A rose is a rose is a rose," wrote Gertrude Stein -- likewise, William Shakespeare once pondered that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" -- so when a company with "rose" in its very name steps out of that particular flowerbed and visits another, it can surprise. And delight, of course, too. The Russian River Rose Company will be doing just that in August via its Iris Sundays. No surprise there about what flower is the focus, of course; the petal-wavy, oh-so-stately iris. Two late August Sundays will be given over to the non-rose -- Aug. 19 and 26 -- and people looking to grow their own or learn more about the bud should make for the bucolic setting.

WHAT'S IN STORE, OR, ER, GARDEN: Two "hands-on" iris demos'll happen each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., led by Roxie Nall the "Iris Lady" (who has both a great name *and* nickname). The Iris Lady will putting the shovel to some of the garden's spectacular, frilly-petaled irises, and visitors will get a discount on "newly dug" flowers. If you like irises but just want a general garden atmos, pen the Open Days on your calendar -- Aug. 18 and 25 -- for strolls around the butterfly-laden plots and the destination's eponymous roses.

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