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2023 HIPS Iris Sale
Otherwise Known as Enabling Our Compulsions

The bloom season will be over in the blink of an eye.  You know what that means… It will soon be HIPS Sale time!  The Sale will open July 12 for US and Canadian HIPS members, and July 14 for the public, and we’re already excited.  If you haven’t participated in the HIPS sale before, your time has come.  There are two ways you can enjoy the sale: as a donor or as a customer, or even better, as both.

We hope that we have as many, or more, donations this year as we had last year. It was a terrific sale; a huge THANK YOU to last year’s donors. Take the plunge with us and try donating named rhizomes from your own garden. Here are the complete details on the timeline and how to donate. Following these instructions helps our sale run smoothly and will help your rhizomes arrive at their new homes in the best possible condition, with their identity properly preserved. Thank you in advance!

Pre-sale – Planning
Donations will consist of collections of six cultivars. You get to name the collection as you wish. Think “Vilmorin Variety Sampler” or “Six from the Sixties (1960s)” or “Must-Have MTBs.”  How you select your six is up to you.  We ask that you choose no NOIDS and offer only up to 3 modern irises in the case of a breeder collection.  Please offer only quality rhizomes that you would like to receive yourself.

Once you’ve come up with your collection and name, submit the collection name and cultivar list to us via email at [email protected].  Feel free to add any high-quality images from your own garden (though this isn’t a requirement), and to add any comments about hardiness, rarity, etc., of the cultivars; customers enjoy those notes and the irises sell better.  Please indicate if you can ship by July 17 or not; donations you can ship by July 17 will be eligible for Canadian shipping.

Donation list submission deadline is July 5, so we have time to build the database and, subsequently, to allow HIPS members a few days to view the catalog before the sale goes live.  If you know you need to submit your list after July 5, we can try to work with you.

Post-sale – Digging and Shipping
The sale will run from noon, Eastern Time, July 12 until midnight, Eastern Time, July 15.  As the sale progresses, the sales team will send out periodic email updates to donors, containing contact information of customers who purchased their collections.  Likewise, customers will receive contact information for donors of their purchased collections.  Don’t be surprised if you get some emails from some very excited customers.

Digging and Shipping
We want the customers to receive the freshest rhizomes possible.  We also can’t guarantee that every collection will be purchased.  Therefore, please wait to dig until it is confirmed that your collection was purchased or, at the very least, wait until the sale is underway.

Please rinse the dirt from your rhizomes and allow them to dry thoroughly.  Trim the fans to 6 inches (MDBs and SDBs may be shorter), and label the fans legibly with a black Sharpie Fine Point marker, close to the rhizome, on an inner leaf.  Pack with cedar chips or excelsior, and include a simple inventory list (handwritten or printed).  For detailed instructions, go to <>, hover on Programs, select Guardian Gardens, then the GG Handbook chapter 8: Processing and Shipping Bearded Irises.

If a Canadian customer purchases one of your collections, you’ll need to ship it to Cathy Egerer, with an inventory list, no later than July 17. They need to arrive by July 21. We’ll make sure you know who your Canadian customers are by the close of July 14.  If a US customer purchases your collection, you can ship the collection directly to the customer at your earliest convenience.

A USPS Priority Medium Flat Rate Box is the most efficient, but you may have to order those boxes (free) online from <>, in advance, as they aren’t available at all local post offices.  Send a photo or scan of your shipping receipt to <[email protected]> if you wish to be reimbursed for postage via PayPal.  DO NOT ship Express; HIPS cannot reimburse any Express shipping costs.

This online sale will begin at noon Eastern Time on July 12 for both US and Canadian HIPS members.  The public sale will open to US non-HIPS members at noon on July 14 and will close at midnight July 15; US HIPS members may continue ordering through the public sale.  We hope to make available an online catalog several days before the sale opens.

Collections will cost $40 for US customers and US$45 for Canadian customers (the extra $5 helps pay for the extra shipping costs).  Canadian HIPS members MUST pay their invoices by noon on July 14 so donors can begin digging for the special July 17 Canadian donation ship date.

A link to a separate digital form will go live when the sale begins.  Use it to reserve your collections.  After you place your order, two things will happen: 1) You’ll receive an email confirmation and later 2) you’ll receive a PayPal invoice that you must pay within 12 hours to avoid cancellation of your order.  Don’t worry: you can use ordinary credit cards on PayPal if you don’t have a PayPal account.  The HIPS sale is run by just a few volunteers; therefore, we don’t have the people-power to accept other forms of payment.

After you pay your invoice, you’ll receive contact information for the donors of your purchased collections.  Be sure to touch base with them if you have special shipping needs; for instance, if you’re going on vacation or need the irises shipped to a neighbor.  Donors will ship at their own convenience unless you mutually arrive at a different plan.

Canadian Customers
Your purchases will run a marathon, not a sprint!  Donors will send your collections to Cathy Egerer, who will manage an inspection and obtain a phytosanitary certificate.  Then she’ll ship all Canadian orders to Barbara Jean Jackson in Canada, who will separate and re-ship the collections to you.  It’s a crazy amount of shipping, but it worked last year.  At this moment, let’s give a huge shout-out of thanks to Cathy and Barbara Jean!

Clear as Mud?
Keep an eye out for HIPS eNewsletters and our website for updates about donations or sale plans.  We’re getting better at this every year and hope to have a fantastic sale for you to enjoy.

US Contacts:
Wendy Scott or Cathy Egerer at [email protected]

Canadian Contacts:
Barbara Jean Jackson  at [email protected]
Shipping to Cathy Egerer (by July 17) – for shipments to Canadian Customers only:
Cathy Egerer
PO Box 456
Grand Marais, MI  49839

HIPS Sale Timeline
From now until July 5: Choose irises you can donate and how many of each.  Mentally make them into six-cultivar collections and name those collections.  Email us your collection name(s) and the cultivar names in each collection. Tell us whether you can ship by July 17, so Canadians could order your collections.

  1. July 12, noon Eastern Time: sale opens for US & Canadian HIPS members.
  2. July 14, noon Eastern Time: Canadian members must have ordered & paid their invoices. By the end of day, we plan to have notified donors of their Canadian purchasers.
  3. July 14, noon Eastern Time: sale opens to non-members; US HIPS members can continue to purchase.
  4. July 15, midnight Eastern Time: sale ends.
  5. July 17, by end of day: Orders for Canada must be dug and shipped to Cathy Egerer.