LEXINGTON – The Blue Grass Iris Society led by Frankfort’s Mary Thurman put its namesake flower on display Saturday at Lexington Green Mall.
Though the delicate blooms came out extra early this year, the 45th annual Iris Show boasted several varieties – there are hundreds, Thurman will tell you.
Judges from around the state spent hours meticulously inspecting each one.
The showy flower, which comes in a large variety of colors, especially purples and pinks and yellows, filled the community room at Lexington Green and attracted several visitors, who were barked away until judges made their final determinations.
Best of show went to a Look Here variety grown in Somerset by the VanHook family, known throughout the region for their expertise.
Thurman, who grows 200 varieties of the flower in her Frankfort yard, was show chairwoman this year and said she was pleased with the turnout. None of the winners came from her garden.
“Oh honey, I don’t enter mine in the contest anymore,” she said, adding that she’s been to more shows than she can remember. “I just grow them so people can see them.”
American Iris Society judge Robert Strohman, wearing a hand-painted iris tie, said though flowers started blooming in March, a few varieties still impressed him.
“There’s always something to see,” he said. “You should never cancel a show. This show it was the Louisiana iris varieties that really impressed me.”