Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Presby Memorial Iris Gardens and Pittsgrove Farms Announce Partnership

We have some really exciting news to share that has been in the works for a few weeks. We are thrilled to announced that we will be working with the dedicated staff and volunteers at The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Pittsgrove Farms and Presby will be working together with the common goal of benefiting the historic gardens through ongoing fundraising efforts. Pittsgrove Farms will be providing growing support at the farm and providing plants that will be sold at the historic gardens. Please check out all the details below:

Partnership provides yearlong growing support and fundraising resources

MONTCLAIR, NJ – April 29, 2009 – The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, the renowned historical iris garden in Montclair, NJ, has planted the seeds for what it hopes will be a growing relationship with Pittsgrove Farms. As a grower of iris, peonies and daylilies, Pittsgrove Farms, will help provide growing support for the gardens and raising funds to maintain and add to the gardens.

The relationship sprouted from an initial contact made in January by Pittsgrove Farm owners John and Cheryl Gulish. Following discussions and a meeting at Pittsgrove Farms located in Pittstown, NJ, the parties outlined projects that could support the garden’s fundraising efforts and benefit the garden’s growing process.

“The board was very excited to find New Jersey iris lovers, who understood the goals and challenges that our gardens are facing in these tough economic times,” said Fran Liscio, President of the Presby board of trustees. “We are excited by the prospect of cultivating a relationship that will benefit both the gardens and its dedicated patrons.”

Beginning May 9th, The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens will welcome visitors to take their first look at the season’s iris blooms. This year, Presby through a partnership with Pittsgrove Farms, will offer many types of iris and perennials for sale. While many of the potted rhizomes that will be for sale will come directly from the Presby gardens, Pittsgrove Farms will also supply various varieties of iris such as tall-, intermediate-, and dwarf-bearded as well as Japanese, Siberian, Louisiana, and spuria. For the first time, the gardens will also be selling a selection of peonies and daylilies. Proceeds will go toward maintaining the gardens, expansion of public programs, utilities and various other costs.

In addition to supplying plants for sale, Pittsgrove Farms will provide growing support for the gardens. Pittsgrove Farms will offer additional land where iris varietals can be propagated over time in an effort to provide the public the opportunity to buy historic named varieties. Additionally, when irises need to be divided in the fall, Pittsgrove Farms will provide potting support in an effort to make the plants available for sale to visitors the following spring.

“We have always been passionate about gardening and history,” said John Gulish, owner of Pittsgrove Farms. “Presby is like a treasured garden heirloom and we take great pride in working with the staff and volunteers to make it shine for thousands of eager visitors each spring.”

Visitors are welcome to visit The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens the gardens from, May 9th through June 7th. A small donation is requested; however visitors are never turned away. The bloom season officially kicks off on Mother’s Day weekend; the garden and Bloom Room are open on Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens

The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Essex County, New Jersey is a living botanic museum dedicated to cultivating and displaying a rich variety of irises, recording the history of the genus, providing horticultural expertise and activities for the public. The Citizens Committee maintains one of finest collections of iris in the world on 7 ½ acres located in Mountainside Park in Montclair. At the peak of bloom season over 75,000 blooms create the “Rainbow on the Hill.

The gardens were established in 1927 to honor Mr. Frank Presby, local Montclarian and founding member of the American Iris Society. The Walther house and grounds, listed on the state and federal registers of historic sites, now houses the garden’s operational headquarters, an exhibit showcasing 80 years of history and the Bloom Room gift shop.

For more information, visit:

Pittsgrove Farms

Pittsgrove Farms is a premier grower of irises, peonies, daylilies and select varieties of perennials with a goal to provide the highest quality perennials and inspire a love of gardening.

Founders John and Cheryl Gulish are garden veterans who ran a very successful garden center for more than 30 years before selling the business in 2005 to return to what they loved – gardening, or as Cheryl likes to say, “playing in the dirt.” They own and operate a more than five-acre plant farm located in Hunterdon County. Their gardens are home to hundreds of varieties of iris, as well as fields of peonies, daylilies and specialty perennials.

Pittsgrove Farms on Oak Grove Rd. in Pittstown is open weekends throughout the spring and early summer. For more information, visit



Fran Liscio

The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens

(973) 783-5974

Jeremy Gulish

Pittsgrove Farms

(908) 782-0751

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