Madison Area Iris Society

Karl and Erika Becker's Garden

the Beckers

Karl and Erika were born in Cologne, Germany and spent their early years as neighbors. In 1960 they decided that it was time they married, and a year later they immigrated to the United States of America, heading directly for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After getting settled, they immediately found employment. Thirty-eight years (and one lovely daughter) later, they decided to move to their present home in East Troy, Wisconsin.

Since both of them had a life-long interest in flowers, it was natural that they immediately set about the task of transforming their five-acre estate into a floral paradise. Karl’s iris collection made the move with them, and over the years he has continued to add to it, searching for, buying and maintaining a complete collection of Dykes Metal winners.

Karl joined the Wisconsin Iris Society (in Milwaukee) in 1996,
he became President in 2002 and held the post until the end of
2008. Anyone who attended the society’s meetings could not help but be entertained by the comedic team of Karl and Erika. It was akin to watching Lucy and Desi, and the fact that you could cut their thick German accent with a knife only added to the fun. With
their kind and gentle European charm, you are certain to enjoy the
time spent in their lovely gardens.

They have a collection of nearly l,000 irises, plus many peonies, Asiatic Lilies, Daylilies, Roses, Astilbe, Clematis, Cone Flowers and Lilacs. The gardens are truly outstanding. Add 5,000 bulb plants, hundreds of other assorted flowers, and surround it all with birch, mountain ash, white pine, conifer, red-bud, oak maple, sunburst locus, star magnolia and a great number of various fruit trees, and finally, a large vegetable garden, and you have Paradise on Earth. And, just for amusement, there is a large corn silo filled with red golden pheasants. The Guest Irises run alongside the driveway for over 100-feet, with an additional large bed in the back of the yard.

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