Iris Bob, as he is affectionately nicknamed, is an avid iris grower and hybridizer. His garden, Iris4U is a family operated iris garden in Denver, Colorado. He grows and sells approximately 1000 newer Tall Bearded Iris varieties in the heart of the Mile High City. As a rising hybridizer for Tall Bearded Iris, he has approximately 10,000 seedlings under evaluation at any given time from previous years to current seedlings still in pots waiting to germinate. The garden was established at its current location in 1994 and is close to 3 acres in size. In 2009, Iris4u Greenhouse opened in Hamburg Germany, making this family of iris growers truly international.
In his "spare time", Bob runs a landscape maintenance business which actually supports his habit or better his passion for growing and hybridizing Tall Bearded Iris. A simple request from one of his landscaping customers for a pink iris was the catalyst that started Bob's transformation into Iris Bob. Bob started hybridizing Tall Bearded Iris in 1998 and introduced his first cultivars in 2005. Since 1998 Bob has developed a reservoir of thousands of seedlings at several stages of the selection process that will yield introductions each year. He has introduced more than 20 iris.
There are always plenty of seedlings being evaluated, selected and reselected and cultivars being rejected and thrown onto the compost pile. The selection process involves a lot of planting, replanting and culling to find the few varieties with that special quality or look, which exemplifies Iris4u?s motto: ?Growing and Hybridizing Tall Bearded Iris for Beauty, Performance and your Pleasure.?
Iris Bob (Van Liere) exudes enthusiasm for growing, hybridizing, and selling irises. Bob greets you at his garden gate with a grin and friendly hello. From there, it's a few steps to total immersion in 2- acres of iris beds that span the depth of a city block. Iris 4U is the largest source of irises in Colorado. In addition to 20 of his own introductions, Bob sells hundreds of recent varieties from other well-known hybridizers.
The Garden will open to the public the weekend after Mother's Day 2013.
In 2009 the family opened Iris4U Greenhouse Germany. It started off as an idea in 2001, traveling from the family Iris Garden in Denver, Colorado across the Atlantic all the way to Germany. At present, Iris4u Greenhouse has over 200 registered varieties, with the potential to grow even more! Hamburg's excessive moisture compared to Colorado's semi-arid conditions posed several growing challenges. The non-heated greenhouse facility provides a chance to think "outside the box", offering a controlled growing space to establish new plants from Colorado, easing them into Germany's climate for later transplanting to the outdoors.