In 1985, a small group of iris enthusiasts met to form a social club to learn and share the beauty of the iris and in 1986, the fledgling club became affiliated with the American Iris Society. A year later, they decided to add daylilies to their passion and became affiliated with the American Daylily Society The club became known as the Johnson County Iris & Daylily Society. As the years progressed, the club grew beyond meeting in member’s homes and now meets in the community room of the United Cooperative Services building, 3309 North Main in Cleburne.
The club has a demonstration garden in Cleburne’s Hulen Park and in 2008 planted iris and daylilies at the entrance to Winston Patrick McGregor Park and botanical garden. The iris garden at Winston Patrick McGregor Park was expanded and was on the American Iris Society National Convention tour in 2014. In 2013, club youth members planted a Children’s Garden at the JN Long Cultural Arts Complex and Glenn & Gloria Huddleston and Peggy & Dan Cathey planted irises along the entry walk of the Complex. In 2015, this garden was dedicated as the Gloria Huddleston Memorial Garden. In 2016, Alden Nellis, president of the Cleburne Friends of the Cultural Arts and JCI&DS member, planted the Micki Nellis Memorial Iris Garden around the northeast corner of the campus.
In 2008, under the leadership of club President Peggy Cathey, and with the help of the American Iris Society, the Johnson County Iris & Daylily Society applied for and was granted the legal status of a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service. The club is now poised to request grants to grow its community service projects and to accept donations to assist in these endeavors.
In 2012, the club became an affiliate of the Cleburne Friends of the Cultural Arts. This is where our club Iris & Daylily Shows are held along with our annual Iris & Daylily sales.
Today, the Johnson County Iris & Daylily Society encourages the planting of iris and daylilies, promotes the conservation of natural resources, furthers civic plantings and landscaping, and supports educational youth programs and projects related to gardening.