Leonine Iris is a home-based, budding (pun intended!) business located in Skyway, a community nestled in along the Renton/Seattle
border in Washington. Our yard in open each Saturday in May for drop-in visits. Weekday evening visits can be arranged by appointment
only. If interested, please contact us regarding an appointment.
The Leonine Iris website is developed and maintained by owner, Bob Seaman. The design is intended to be fun and informative for any
who visit. Any questions or comments can be directed to him via the "Contact Us" link
My interest in irises started in my youth. My dad was an avid gardener.
He had several irises in the garden we had in Denver. I remember when we
moved that he dug rhizomes for each type, packed them in dry sawdust and
put them in the back of the Chevy suburban with the rest of our most
important possessions. I'll never forget the scent that filled the car
as we made our way to Washington in 1968. Our new house wasn't ready for
several months... I remember my dad being worried about the rhizomes
being kept out of the ground so long, and also his pleasure at seeing
them all growing and blooming the next spring after he'd planted them.
He added to his collection while I grew up and followed his footsteps to
a certain extent by getting a degree in Landscape Design and working as
a Garden Center Manager for several years.
I was not struck with a passion for irises until I was in my 30's and
finally could afford a home with a yard. I "swiped" some rhizomes from
my dad's collection and added a few others. Then one day I was out at
Crossroads Mall with my former partner and saw this sign at the
entrance: "King County Iris Society Show Today 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM". My
curiosity was tweaked and we went inside to check it out. Low and behold
I discovered that there was more to irises than the "tall ones"! There
were dwarf, standard dwarf, border, miniature tall, and intermediate bearded iris
as well as Siberian, Japanese, Louisiana and something
called Pacific Coast Iris, along with signs about other types called Spurias.
I'd never seen such colors or patterns in flowers before; the intensity
of some of them was stunning to a neophyte like me (and still are!). A whole new world
opened up for me and I've been hooked ever since! I started collecting
some of the other types and learning more about the World of Iris. I
joined the King County Iris Society and learned that there was even an
American Iris Society (there's a society of everything, isn't
Since my addiction to irises began I've continued to grow any of them I
can get a hold of. I've grown several hundreds of hybrids, although not
all at the same time! Our current growing space in Skyway does impose a
definite limit on the number of plants that can be grown, so now it's a
"simple" matter of deciding what irises to let go of in order to make
room for newer/other varieties. In 2009, after be careful not to
"specialize" in any particular type of iris, I decided to focus on
Pacific Coast hybrids; our growing space is ideal for PCs, plus I'm more
and more intrigued and enticed by their unique, intense and colorful
patterns. Currently the number of Bearded hybrids is about equal with
the number of Beardless hybrids, although as time passes and the Pacific
Coast collection expands the bearded varieties will be reduced. Never
fear though! We have several bearded and beardless varieties that will
always be a part of our collection!
Many thanks to my patient, understanding and beloved partner, Tracy Turner, who so
appropriately dubbed me "iris-ly deranged;" a few years into our life together. He helps keep me
grounded and prevents me from turning into a recluse!