History of Iris Garden:
It was a hobby that grew quickly and got out of hand. In 1990, Mary Ann started gathering many historic iris bulbs in the surrounding countryside to landscape down the long driveway and around the 95 year old farm house. Once she discovered sources for newer hybridized iris bulbs, she couldn't clear the weeds fast enough. In 1999, she opened her gardens to the public, and continued teaching mathematics full time at Sierra College and American River College. She now has over 1200 varieties of irises. Today, a 5-acre park-like setting is dotted with labeled iris plantings of fragrant, re-blooming (bloom more than once during the year), historic, or new irises, over 75 varieties of daylilies, several varieties of lavender, picnic areas for private groups during the week or weekends, and an art studio for Doug Horton's jewelry and garden art. In October, a 2 acre field of pumpkins is waiting for the children (young and old) to find their favorite pumpkins from the many varieties that are grown.
History of Horton Farm:
In 1857, the first generation settled on this property as a gold miner and cattle rancher.about_us_2 The next generation expanded the cattle ranching and began the process of transforming the land into a farm. Grandma and Grandpa built the water system that pipes water from 2 miles away and planted the extensive orchards, vineyards, and cattle pastures on 240 acres. When a disease destroyed most of the fruit trees in the late 1960s, the family decided not to replant. After the land laid fallow for 30 years, the decision to restore the farm lands and house was made by Ed and Mary Ann Horton. In 2003, Doug and Jennifer Horton moved to the farm to help with the iris garden and reopen other areas of the farm. They brought with them their daughter, Majken, the sixth generation to live and work on the farm. Doug and Jennifer were salmon biologists in Alaska for ten years, and then sailed on their 27 foot sailboat from Alaska to the South Pacific and New Zealand for seven years. Now they have built a "contempory farm house" and put down the "anchor", but still sail every summer in Alaska on their boat.
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