Distractions on Your Way to/from Muscatine!

Are you coming to the Regional in Muscatine from the east, the west, the north or the south? There are many trails that lead to Muscatine in southeast Iowa. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway, Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway, Iowa Valley Scenic Byway, Grant Wood Scenic Byway, Historic U.S.Route 6, Mormon Pioneer National HistoricTrail, Cody Trail, White Pole Road, The Freedom Rock Tour, and the Walnut Tree Link.

You have been invited to gardens on your way to Muscatine and on your way home, or make the loop and try and see as many as you can. Driving details will be provided by email to persons who are registered for the July 14-16th meeting. View highlights of these open gardens and bus tour gardens here. A wide variety of gardens will be available for viewing. College campus beds, hybridizers' gardens, country gardens, a master gardener’s delight, several small city gardens and 3 lifelong garden club friends. The Cedar Valley Iris and Daylily Society membership is delighted that you are coming to visit. Our membership is spread over 10 counties in the southeastern section of the state. We have members who reside from Bellevue to Burlington, from Oskaloosa and North English, to Shellsburg and Dyersville, and many gardens in the acres of Iowa between those vistas.

From the south, there will be garden gems in Bonaparte and Burlington. Both of these gardens started their collections with daylilies that were hybridized by our CVIDS charter member Gerald Hobbs. Farmers with a passion for daylilies and growing other crops will delight you. Two different rivers are near these bountiful gardens. Make these gardens a top priority to visit!

In the center will be gardens in and near Muscatine, one overlooking the mighty Mississippi with plantings from the Iowa State experimental test plot, a garden with the artistic touch of a butterfly painted on the fence, a garden with a historical railroad trestle in the backyard with the plantings created by a Federated garden judge and a daylily bed in Weed Park.

Entering CVIDS territory from the west will lead you past Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum into an area heralded as part of the Underground Railway. Stop and see history from World War I in the displays of flour sacks sent to Belgium from Midwest flour and grain mills. Take a rest stop near Wilton to view how quilts signaled a safe stop along the Underground Railway in Cedar and Muscatine counties.

From the north is the hybridizer garden that had the Derecho of 2020 blow through, creating opportunities for new seedling beds. Stop in Mount Vernon to see the Cornell College campus that has benefited from the graduates' touch in beautification of their entry drive and signs with purple and white daylilies for the school colors, along with beds of seedlings that could not make the journey to Colorado when a CVIDS member moved. Travel on the The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway to the Cedar County town of Lowden to visit that octogenarian graduate of Cornell and the colorful beds that surround his condo. He started his humble gardens in the 70’s and has created several lovely hybrids of his own creations, including “Gary’s Unstoppable Gold". (Revisit his passion in a past Spring 2021 issue of the Daylily Pioneer.). Tour the other two town gardens that are lovely oases of flowers, iron works, and statuary. As you journey toward Muscatine, check out the Cedar County Freedom Rock on the town square in Tipton, view the Carnegie Library, and stop for the famous Tipton Crescent at Tiffiny’s Bakery. This 85-year-old recipe is a coveted favorite when brought to CVIDS society meetings.

Whichever route you take will lead you to Muscatine with four additional tour gardens on Saturday, lunch catered by the historic longest functioning ice cream parlor, the Wilton Candy Kitchen. You can visit the Muscatine County Freedom Rock and a mural painted by Bubba Sorenson while eating. Welcome to southeast Iowa! Here are a few links to facilitate your travel planning:


Grant Wood Art Gallery


African American Museum of Iowa

Brucemore National Historic Site and Cultural Center

Grant Wood Studio and Armstrong Visitor Center (where he painted American Gothic)

Museum of Art

National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library

NewBo City Market

Things to do in CR


Bix Beiderbecke Museum and Archives

Figge Art Museum


National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Fenelon Place Elevator Co.


St. Francis Xavier Basilica

Baseball - Field of Dreams

Ertl Miniature Toys Outlet Store


UI Athletics Hall of Fame

Stanley Museum of Art

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History


Ardon Creek Vineyard and Winery

A Stroll through Old Muscatine

Bayer Butterfly Garden

Contrary Brewing Company

Environmental Learning Center

Muscatine Aquatic Center

Muscatine Art Center

Muscatine Dog Park

National Pearl Button Museum

Pine Creek Grist Mill

The Old Barn

Weed Park (including Plant It Pink bed)

Wildcat Den State Park


Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum


Iowa Freedom Rocks

Wilton Candy Kitchen