Trip Planner: USA / New Jersey / Upper Montclair / Presby Iris Gardens
Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is a nonprofit, volunteer-run living museum specializing in iris flowers, located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue, Montclair in Essex County, New Jersey, New Jersey, United States. The gardens are situated on 6.5 acres. Adjacent to the gardens is a Victorian house, the Walther House. The house is open to the public and is home to a museum shop and headquarters for the Citizens Committee that oversees the gardens.
Following financial problems in 2008 and 2009, ownership of the gardens was transferred to Essex county, who bought the Walther House for $1.1 million in order to give the gardens a better financial standing. The county then leased the gardens back to the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens for $1. While Essex County owns the property, the actual iris beds are maintained without taxpayer funds. Rather, they are maintained by private donations and volunteer effort.
The Gardens are in a park-like setting and open to the public without charge. Donations, however, are greatly appreciated. Each year Presby has over 10,000 visitors. Normally, the blooming season is May 14 to June 4. Check the Presby website (see External Links below) for the exact status of the current season. The gardens were established in 1927 to honor Frank Presby, a noted horticulturalist and a founding member of the American Iris Society. This world-class collection now includes approximately 10,000 individual plants, representing 6 species and over 3,000 different named varieties of irises. It is the largest non-commercial garden dedicated to irises in the world.
In August 2005, 157 historic rhizomes were vandalized. One year later, Montclair Police were tipped off to the culprits who were later arrested and sentenced. The three men, minors at the time, had clubbed the plants practicing golf swings, while intoxicated. In 2008, a theft was attempted on some irises, by removing them and putting them in a plastic bag, but they were recovered. Use our Upper Montclair online trip itinerary maker to visit Presby Iris Gardens on your trip to Upper Montclair, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Presby Iris Gardens reviews
Beautiful - hundreds of irises and dozens of varieties. Parking is available on the street in front of the gardens. There are benches available for resting. Plent of room for social distancing...
Beautiful - hundreds of irises and dozens of varieties. Parking is available on the street in front of the gardens. There are benches available for resting. Plent of room for social distancing... more »
Irises are my favorite flower so I love to visit these gardens every few years during bloom season. Ever see tiny miniature iris? Giant bearded iris? Irises in almost every color known and...
Irises are my favorite flower so I love to visit these gardens every few years during bloom season. Ever see tiny miniature iris? Giant bearded iris? Irises in almost every color known and... more »
Beautiful garden, the largest iris garden in the country. Beautiful grounds. Check out all the estates along the way with massive front lawns. Run by volunteers so make sure you put some money in the.... more
Beautiful garden, the largest iris garden in the country. Beautiful grounds. Check out all the estates along the way with massive front lawns. Run by volunteers so make sure you put some money in the.... more »
Well maintained gardens with nice benches to sit and relax. We spent close to two hours lounging here while our kids played and ran across the garden and had great fun. There is also a nice play area right across the road.
Great place! Beautiful fragrant blooms. Run by volunteers and on donations so give generously. They have an annual rhizome sale where they select from specific beds every year. I've purchased in the past and have my own glorious irises now too.
If you love irises, this is the best collection you've ever seen. One of our very favorite places. We visit every year.
The Iris Garden is wonderful & the best part dog friendly !! They ask for a donation when you first walk in which is sweet, can’t have all of this beauty for free 😉 So many beautiful bloomed flowers everywhere you turn! It’s decor is also very cute with bridges & benches nicely spread out. All the iris flowers have their name tags on it which is cool because you can see all the variety of kinds there actually are. Once you walk up higher there’s a nice grass field for sitting in the sun and relaxing. Bathrooms on site against far area of the garden. Definitely a cool spot to check out in the spring!!! Spent about 30-45 minutes here and it was wonderful!
Yesterday was a prime day for this beautiful garden. Almost every iris was in bloom. I wasn't aware there is a tent set up with volunteers requesting $8.00 donation from each person. It was worth it for the chance to walk among hundreds of varieties of irises, cared for by volunteers.
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