After being in business for over 100 years and being a farming operation in the middle of the city, we get many questions. We’ve tried to answer some of the more “popular” ones below in the hopes it will make your visit more enjoyable and less mysterious. For questions and tips on growing iris, please see Growing Tips.
What do you sell?
We sell bearded iris. They range in size from Miniature Dwarf Bearded (MDB) at about 8 inches in height, to Tall Bearded (TB) at 27 inches and higher. They require minimal watering once established. With a selection of types, you can have iris blooming from late March/early April into June. We also have Long’s Gardens T-shirts, tote bags and a few iris books for sale.
Do you sell cut iris?
We do not sell cut iris. Since our main business is selling plants, we need to leave the blooms on the plants for those wishing to see what they’re buying. Also, since the plants are grown in open fields, the vagaries of Colorado weather make the cut flower business iffy. If you need cut flowers, it is best to visit one of the many florists in town.
Do you sell gift certificates?
Yes, we sell gift certificates in any amount you desire. They can be used to buy iris or other products. We will be glad to send them to you or directly to the recipient
When are you open?
We are open during blooming time, typically May through the first part of June. The actual dates vary from year to year, so check back or call to get the latest information. During those dates, we are open seven days a week, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day, including holidays.
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Can I look at iris after you are closed?
Yes, during May & June when we are open to the public, you may come and look at the iris at other than normal business hours. We may be elusive though, as we try and get things done. If you plan to come at extreme hours (like dawn for example) please let us know ahead of time so we’re not surprised. Please remember this is private property, and other than bloom time, please refrain from using our land as a shortcut, bike path, dog walking path, etc.
Is there an admission charge?
There is no admission charge. We like to share the beauty of the iris with everyone. You are under no obligation to buy anything, just enjoy the bloom.
Why are you open for only a month & a half?
All of our plants are grown outdoors in fields. May and early June are when the iris are in bloom, which is when people are interested in visiting. After the iris have finished blooming, we are preparing and shipping your iris orders.
What do you do the rest of the year?
After the iris are finished blooming, we are preparing to ship the mail orders. We do our shipping in July and August, which is the best time to plant. We are very busy at this time because we are also trying to get our own transplanting done as well. After our planting is done, it is time for our welcome winter rest, meaning we are not quite so busy. There are indoor tasks, paperwork, preparing for next year, equipment repair, etc., but generally at a slower pace. In March and April we start attacking those pesky weeds that germinated over winter and then it’s suddenly May and the iris are in bloom.
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Do you give tours?
We do accommodate groups that would like a tour. If your group would like to come visit the gardens, please call ahead (303-442-2353) to arrange a time. We have limited staff and we try to schedule groups so as not to conflict with another group. This allows us to give you our undivided attention. There is no charge. Please let us know how many will be coming, how you will arrive (bus, individual cars, etc) and how mobile your group is.
Is your place handicap accessible?
This being a working farm, accessibility can be a challenge at times. Most of the fields can be reached by car on dirt roadways. Some have grass pathways accessible from the concrete parking area adjacent to the office. Both the roads and grassways can be navigated by wheelchairs, but may need a bit of extra human push power. The office, with restrooms, is wheelchair accessible.
Can I come and paint/photograph at your place?
Artists, would-be artists and photographers are welcome to come to record their impressions of our place. We have several examples of others’ work in the office. If you would like to come at odd hours, please let us know ahead so we can be expecting you.
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Can I have my wedding or other gathering at your place?
No, sorry. We are a working farm and are not set up, or suitable for celebratory gatherings. There are no structures to provide cover from the fickle Colorado weather. We do not have services for a large gathering of people, nor do we have the staff or expertise for such events.
What’s with the deer, do they eat iris?
Thankfully, they do not eat the iris. The deer are wild animals, not tame, and not ours. They are part of the resident Boulder urban herd. Please do not attempt to get close, touch them or approach their fawns. They may look tame, but they can be easily spooked and may run into Broadway traffic. (This is one of the reasons we ask that dogs be on a leash.) Deer hooves are sharp, and the does are very protective of their fawns. They are part of our unasked for ambience.
When do the deer turn into elk (we’ve really had this question)
Never. Deer and elk are two entirely different species. Deer are not miniature elk. This is good as elk are really big and they eat iris. So far (thankfully) we do not have elk in Boulder.
Does that “old” tractor run?
Yes, we use them along with other machinery to keep weeds at bay and work up the soil. The big tractor is a 1946 International Farmall H. The smaller orange one, with the cultivator, is a 1951 Allis-Chalmers G. Please refrain from climbing on them or moving gear levers, etc. as they are our elderly friends and are more delicate than they may appear.
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Are the trucks, tractors, other machinery, or furniture for sale?
None of our machinery or furniture is for sale. They are all either working members of the family or have a long, memorable history.
Are you part of the city parks system?
Long’s Gardens is private property. We are not part of, nor do we wish to be part of the city’s park system. We do lease the east end of our property (east of the ditch) to a wonderful non-profit organization, Growing Gardens, for community garden plots, the Cultiva youth program, and other great gardening projects.
Are those solar panels on the buildings?
Yes, the panels on the office building and its twin to the south are our new solar grid-tie system. They were installed in the summer of 2006 by Namaste Solar Electric, a local Boulder firm.
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Are you planning to sell your place?
We have no intention, plans or desires to sell our land. We like what we do and want to keep up our anachronistic agricultural activities.
Why aren’t all the iris you grow for sale?
There are several reasons. Some varieties are popular and our supply ran low, so we have to hold them out a year or two to build up stock. Some varieties need to be divided to be saleable in the future. Some of our new acquisitions need to be propagated before we have enough for sale. And lastly, some of the varieties (usually they have weird letter/number combinations) are seedlings. These are plants being test grown by local hybridizers for evaluation and possible future introduction and sale. These plants belong to the hybridizer, and are not ours to sell
How many varieties do you grow?
We grow many hundreds of varieties, although many of these consist of just a few plants.
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DIRECTIONS TO LONG'S GARDENS
From Denver (via US 36):
Continue into Boulder. The highway bends to the north as you cross over Baseline Road. Continue north to Canyon Blvd (3rd traffic light). Turn left (west) and continue to Broadway. The streets are numerical, getting smaller as you go west (Broadway would be 12th ). Turn right (north) on Broadway. Continue past downtown, and the Hospital. At the Hospital, the streets are alphabetical with botanical names. We are on the east side of Broadway, opposite Grape Ave. We are just north of the North Boulder Recreation Center (second right after the traffic light there). There are two stone pillars at our drive and a power tower opposite our drive at Grape Ave.
Take Colorado 119 (Diagonal Highway) into Boulder. When the highway gets to 28th St it becomes Iris Ave. Continue west on Iris Ave. to 13th St. The streets are numerical, getting smaller as you go west. Turn left (south) on 13th St. Continue south on 13th St. As you cross Hawthorn Ave. (one block south), 13th St. becomes our back drive. Drive south, turn right around south side of buildings to the parking lot.
From Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley:
Via US 287: Go south on US 287 to Colorado 66 on north edge of Longmont. Turn left (west) on Colo 66 to Hover Rd. (first light west). Turn left (south) on Hover Road and continue south through Longmont to Colorado 119 (Diagonal Highway). Continue to Boulder as in the Longmont directions.
Via I-25: Exit on Colorado 119 exit and go west to and through Longmont. Continue to Boulder as in the Longmont directions.
Go north on Colorado 93 to Boulder. Colorado 93 becomes Broadway as you enter Boulder. Continue north past University of Colorado, downtown, and the Hospital. At the Hospital, the streets are alphabetical with botanical names. We are on the east side of Broadway, opposite Grape Ave. We are just north of the North Boulder Recreation Center (second right after the traffic light there). There are two stone pillars at our drive and a power tower opposite our drive at Grape Ave.
Take Colorado 119, Boulder Canyon into Boulder. Streets are numerical getting larger as you go east (Broadway would be 12th). Turn left (north) on Broadway. Continue past downtown, and the Hospital. At the Hospital, the streets are alphabetical with botanical names. We are on the east side of Broadway, opposite Grape Ave. We are just north of the North Boulder Recreation Center (second right after the traffic light there). There are two stone pillars at our drive and a power tower opposite our drive at Grape Ave.
Take US 36 south to Boulder. As you get to the north edge of Boulder, US 36 turns SE where Broadway intersects from the south. Make the right turn (south) at this point and continue south on Broadway to Iris Ave. As you go south, the street names are alphabetical with botanical names. Turn left (east) at the light at Iris Ave. Go one short block east to 13th St. Turn right (south) on 13th St. Continue south on 13th St. As you cross Hawthorn Ave. (one block south), 13th St. becomes our back drive. Drive south, turn right around south side of buildings to the parking lot.
From Lafayette, Louisville, Erie:
Take either Arapahoe Road or South Boulder Road to Broadway. Turn right (north) on Broadway. Continue past downtown, and the Hospital. At the Hospital, the streets are alphabetical with botanical names. We are on the east side of Broadway, opposite Grape Ave. We are just north of the North Boulder Recreation Center (second right after the traffic light there). There are two stone pillars at our drive and a power tower opposite our drive at Grape Ave.
RTD’s SKIP and 208 routes go north/south on Broadway past Long’s Gardens. There is a stop at Grape Ave., which is right in front of our place. It is one stop north of the North Boulder Recreation Center.
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