This year, Presby memorial Iris Gardens celebrates 90 years of bloom with many special events. The gardens were established in 1927 to honor Frank H. Presby, beloved Montclair resident. Mr. Presby was passionately involved in improving Montclair’s parks and recreation areas and was an early trustee of the Montclair Art Museum. An avid horticulturalist and founding member of the American Iris Society, Mr. Presby loved irises and so it was an iris garden chosen to memorialize his life.
The gardens contain nearly 14,000 irises, approximately 1,500 varieties, which produce over 100,000 blooms each May. It is the only public garden where the comprehensive planting of bearded iris evolution may be viewed. The continuum of iris, dating from the 1500s to today, delights the modernist as well as historic iris enthusiasts.
Family Garden Party
Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Essex County Family Garden Party is a free community event sponsored by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs with entertainment, crafts, face painting, booths from local organizations such as the Essex County Environmental Center and Master Gardeners, and various food trucks. A student art exhibit will also be featured. Rain date: Sunday, May 21.
Live Jazz Music
Weekends during Bloom Season (now through June 2) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
TaikoZoku Japanese Drumming Show
Sunday, May 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Hear the thrilling sounds of this Japanese style drum troupe from Glenn Weber’s New Jersey School of Percussion in West Orange.
Outdoor Movie Screening Disney’s Moana
Saturday, June 3 at 9 p.m.
Hosted by the Montclair Film Festival and Essex County Parks System.
The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue in Upper Montclair. During bloom season, admission is a suggested $8 donation to help fund garden costs. The Gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk.
Click for more information about the Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens and the 2017 Bloom Season.