“Caroline collected Louisiana Irises from various places in south LA. She became good friends with Sidney Conger of Arcadia in north central LA. They began, along with others, to hybridize the collected irises. Caroline had a “bay gall” (sweet bay and red bay magnolias growing in a low place where seep water leaves the underground) and she selected this place to grow her seedlings in beds in this boggy area. There were no other places on the property where she was willing to open up the area to the sun. This area tended to stay wet most of the year and reduced the need to water the plants. Caroline had no electricity and drew water from a well. She also had irises planted on the lower side of her property where two streams came together. When a neighbor dammed up one of the streams to build a pond, the water backed up into her beds and she had to move these irises to the “Bay Garden”. The “Bay Garden” at Briarwood is one of the oldest LA iris gardens continually in existence.” Ron Killingsworth
Briarwood was hit by an EF-1 Tornado in May of 2019. Because of this tragic tornado, the canopy above the bay garden was open, allowing invasive species to sprout among the Irises. Due to the effort of cleaning and removing debris from the tornado, still ongoing today, the bay garden has unfortunately been put on the back burner. Now is the time to restore it to its original beauty.
Briarwood is always open for volunteers in all aspects. We are also a non-profit organization, which means any donation you provide to Briarwood is fully tax deductible. In the next few weeks, we will be scheduling volunteer events in the Bay Garden. Don’t forget to sign up for emails!
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.