Shoppers stopping by the Ellis County Master Gardner’s booth at the farmers market on Saturday were surprised to receive a free iris to plant in their yards. Saturday marked the fourth year of the iris giveaway at the market.

Master gardener Ruth Davis said in the first hour of the giveaway, which ran from 8 a.m.–1 p.m., around 12 iris plants were given away. A local resident who was cleaning out her flowerbed donated around 100 plants to be given away by the master gardeners. Irises are perennials and start off as a root known as rhizomes. There are approximately 300 species of irises.

Davis said irises are easy to take care because of their hardy nature and can thrive in many different environments. When taking care of irises after they bloom gardeners are advised to keep the planting area clean and free of debris, remove weeds and water them during very hot and dry times.

One of the many shoppers that picked up an iris was Marcia Hagee.

“I think that it is wonderful that someone was generous enough to donate iris to give away to the public. I have started an iris bed in my back yard and I am going to add this to it. It is going to be very exciting to see what color that I am going to get,” Hagee said. “I am a transplant from Oklahoma. The master gardeners have been really helpful to me in learning how to grow things here. They have wonderful information about just anything that you could think of in regards to growing healthy plants and creating a greener more productive pleasing environment.”

The Ellis County Master Gardeners are at the Waxahachie Downtown Famer’s Market from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. each Saturday to help the public with their gardening needs. The famers market is located at 410 S. Rogers St. across the street from the Waxahachie City Hall.

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