Our Story

     In the summer of 2012 I visited the iris farm of my would-be future mentor and got hooked on the hobby of growing and hybridizing irises. I was astounded at the variety of color and form in the cultivars I saw. Up until that moment I only knew irises to be the pale lavender Iris pallida and a few other dark color patterns. They did not interest me beyond a passing curiosity in the yard. That fall I started my hobby with 7 cultivars purchased somewhat spontaneously at local garden centers having no knowledge of how to buy rises or what to consider in a source for plants. My intention was to fill in some blank areas in my garden beds and stop. Well, I didn’t stop. 


    Sometime later (Fall 2013) I considered the idea of starting my own business growing irises. The most pressing question at the time was what to call it. Earlier that summer, as it turned out, my father had casually come up with the name as we were working in the yard. The yard has lots of landscaped areas but many times we couldn’t get matching sets of building materials to finish a given feature. We always seemed to get one or two dissimilar items. In this way, most features ended up with a differently shaped or colored element incorporated into them effecting, in the end, what might be called a symmetrical pattern. It worked.


    This sort of thing happened so many times that on this particular day my father commented that we lived at “Diversity Acres”. This was meant as a jab at a once popular TV show with a similarly themed name and we had a good laugh over it. Later that fall as I considered business names I instantly liked it and the idea of “Diversity Acres” was born. With only those 7 cultivars in my collection, most growing in wash basins, I had the sudden realization that there might be no humbler a beginning for an idea which might turn out to be something. Three years later with the easy part behind me I registered “Diversity Acres” with the courts as my fictitious name of business. The rest, as they might say….is a history in progress.


     At Diversity Acres, the goal is to grow and hybridize quality decorative perennials. The prime focus has been on irises of all kinds but as the name suggests, as of 2018, we are starting to branch out as the business developd to select groups of different kinds of ornametal perennials and products as warranted.  My current focus with anything new is on getting plant stock established and producing sellable quantities of plants which grow well for us here on the east coast.  Virginia's weather has become extremely variable so you can count on our plants and new hybrids have been exposed to any combination of growing conditions at some point during theire time under our care. 


    I currently have a hybridizing program in progress. The coming years should bring many more seedlings to evaluate for future introductions. I hope you will join me in appreciating the iris and other quality perennials as things go forward from here.




Thanks for choosing Diversity Acres!




R. Eagles, Owner