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HIPS Rhizome Sale 2022:
Including Our Canadian Members Once Again!
By Wendy Scott & the Rhizome Sale Team

One amazing perk of HIPS membership is participating in the HIPS sale, before it becomes available to the public.  Sadly, last year our Canadian HIPS members were left out in the cold.  Our new sales model was such a last-minute inspiration in unknown territory that we weren’t brave enough to go all-out.  This year is a different story.  Now that we know how to run the sale digitally through Airtable, and now that our rhizome donors have a little experience with the new format, we’re ready to conquer a sale for members in BOTH countries.

Donors:  What You Need to Know
Donors, we love you!  Please assume that every one of these instructions is prefaced with a big “PLEASE” and followed by a big “THANK YOU!”  Our donors are a wonderful group of people who truly care that irises are preserved and that HIPS is around to help.  Thank you so very much for participating.

We’re sorry to say that we have not yet figured out a cost-effective way to accept donated rhizomes from Canada.  We encourage our Canadian members to swap irises among themselves.

✦  This summer, we once again ask you to submit lists of “collections” of six cultivars.  Name the collections as you wish.  Add descriptions when appropriate; customers enjoy knowing more.  (See details below.)

✦  Think about your shipping window:

✤  Can you ship by July 18? If so, your collections could be marked as available for our Canadian and US HIPS members.

✤  If a shipping date by or before July 18 isn’t possible for you, your collections will be available for purchase only for US members.  If you know what date you plan to ship, please provide that information.

✦  Submit your collection lists, comments, and any photos by July 6 so we can let HIPS members preview the inventory before the sale begins.

✦  The sale runs from July 13 to 16.

✤  July 13, beginning at Noon Eastern Time, the sale is open only to Canadian and US HIPS members.  All purchasers MUST be current HIPS members, but can buy a HIPS membership on our website until July 10 and still participate in the members-only sale.

✤  July 15, beginning at Noon Eastern Time, the sale will be open to US residents who are not members (as well as late-coming HIPS members).

✤  July 16, the sale ends at midnight (that is, the end of the day July 16).

✤  Invoices must be paid within 12 hours of receiving them.

✤  Canadian customer invoices MUST be paid by noon, Eastern time, on July 15 so donors can dig and ship their rhizomes by July 18.  Therefore, if one of your collections has been purchased by a Canadian member, you will know by July 15.

Shipping

✤  By July 18, ship collections for Canadian purchasers to Cathy Egerer, who will manage the phytosanitary certificates and send the rhizomes on to Canada.

✤  Ship collections for US residents directly to the customer, according to your own time schedule.

✤  Customers are responsible for notifying donors of travel plans that will affect shipping.

✤  Prepare rhizomes:  rinse off all soil, dry thoroughly, trim fans to 6 inches (less for MDBs & SDBs), and label them legibly with a black Sharpie Fine Point marker.  To label, begin printing as close to the rhizome as you can on an inner leaf.

✤  Pack with cedar chips or excelsior; there must be air flow inside the box.

✤  USPS Flat Rate Medium sized boxes are best for most situations.  USPS Regional Rate Boxes are the most cost-efficient option, but typically you must order those boxes online from the Post Office in packs of 10 or 25.  They’re free, but you won’t always find them in your local branch office.  You can order them from the shop area of usps.com – just do a quick search for Regional Rate Box.  DO NOT ship Express, as it is prohibitively expensive; HIPS cannot reimburse any Express shipping costs.

✤  We greatly appreciate rhizome donors who are willing to pay for shipping as part of their donation, but we know times are hard.  If desired, donors can email photos of their shipping receipts to the sales team for reimbursement.

Composing and Naming Collections

When you select six cultivars for a collection, group them in any way you can dream of.  We ask you to follow two important limitations: First, no NOIDs.  Second, if you offer a breeder collection or other special collection, you may include up to 3 modern irises.  Otherwise, please stick to historics.

You also get to choose a name for each collection.

Last year, some collections were named according to the color palette: Autumn Leaves; Whites & Lights; Soft Tones – Rare Cultivars.  Some collections were named for hybridizers: EEEE Gadd; Arilbreds by Fred; Spaceagers á la Monty Byers.  Others were named for exactly what they were: Wonderful Old Favorites; Mixed Tall Bearded Bag; Tried and True TBs.  Be as serious or creative as you wish.

Any notes you add help customers and sell irises.  Flag a cultivar as being especially rare, a hardy grower, or a terrific early bloomer, and the like.  Comments aren’t required, but help customers make their choices; we noticed that irises with comments sold better.  Likewise, if you have a wonderful image of the iris blooming in your garden, feel free to send it to the sales team.

Update (6/11/2022): Donors – We now have a HIPS Sale Donors Form that you can use to submit information about your collections. Try it out! Or, you may simply email the information to [email protected] Thank you!

Customers:  How to Buy Irises

If you were a customer last summer, you’ll find this easy: the sale works the same way this year.  You’ll be able to browse through a gallery view of the different collections, which will include images and any comments the donors add.  The day the sale becomes active, you’ll be able to click on a sales link to a form; once there, you’ll use a drop-down box to select the collection(s) you wish to buy.

Collections will sell for $40 each for US customers.  For Canadian members, the collections will be $45 US dollars, to help cover the phytosanitary certificates and additional shipping costs for those orders.

After you complete your order, a sales team member will send you a Paypal invoice, and you’ll have 12 hours to make a payment before your order is voided.  Yes, you can use an ordinary credit card on Paypal – you do not need a PayPal account.  Once your payment is complete, we’ll send the donor your shipping address and contact information.  Canadian customers MUST pay their invoices by noon on July 15, so donors who volunteered to ship by July 18 will know to start digging.

Collections Sold to Canadian HIPS Members

Shipping the rhizomes to Canadian members is not a simple thing.  Rhizomes will be shipped three times before they make it to the eager hands of the customer.  First, donors will ship them to Cathy Egerer.  Cathy and Nancy will inspect the rhizomes and prep them for shipping to Canada.  Cathy will then have them inspected for the phytosanitary certificate, and then will ship them in bulk to our Canadian team.  Barbara Jean Jackson will receive all of the rhizomes in Canada, with Lori Vandette standing in reserve.   Barbara Jean will then separate the collections and re-ship them to individual Canadian customers.  This is the same protocol for Canadian shipping that was used in the old rhizome sales.  It can be done.  It will be done.

All that extra shipping means the Canadian sales will not yield the same profit as US sales. That’s okay!  Remember, the sale is a good fundraiser for HIPS.  However, the more important function of the sale is that it aids in iris preservation by distributing rhizomes to more gardens.  This sale will help preserve many cultivars in Canadian gardens, an outcome that is definitely worthy of the shipping expense.

Sales Team Contact Information
US Contacts:
Wendy Scott or Cathy Egerer at [email protected]
Canadian Contacts:
Barbara Jean Jackson  at [email protected]
Lori Vandette at [email protected]

Shipping for Canada (by July 18):
Cathy Egerer
PO Box 456
Grand Marais, MI 49839