Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Iris Eyes Are Smiling

It's not a typo. I'm not talking about Irish eyes. And, I'm not talking about the iris in your eye. This weather today reminded me of Ireland. This is basically how it was the entire time I was there, rainy, misty, cool. I can't very well complain about the weather today. We haven't had any appreciable amount of rain in weeks. Hubby has been watching the weather each day, just waiting for some rain to come and water our grassy lawn. It's been dry and there's only so much we can do for our lawn. It's just a little too much to water with our well. I like the grass okay, the cats play on it, and it makes a good backdrop for my pictures, but it's really hubby's bailiwick. So I'm happy it's raining today, we needed the rain.

One area I don't really have to worry too much about in dry conditions is my iris garden. What? Didn't you know I had an iris garden? As it turns out, this is my first year growing irises. Well, technically, I did plant the rhizomes last summer, but they bloom in the spring of the following year. By the time I started writing this blog, the irises stopped their blooming. I was on to strawberries, and veggies, and... well you remember. As I see it, it's never too late to take a look back. And see, they do make you smile, just cast your eyes on these babies.

Tahiti Sunrise

One thing you may have figured out by now, gardeners of all kinds are very generous people. We like to share our bounty with others, and doubtless it's because some other gardener has done the same for us at one time or another. Did you know, that I did not buy one rhizome for this garden as of yet? Two lovely gardening friends contributed the rhizomes that make up this garden. Most of them, over 20, came from one friend in Philadelphia (thanks Mit!). Irises must be dug up and divided every few years or they become overcrowded. This is a good time to share or trade rhizomes with friends. I look forward to sharing my irises when the time comes to renovate this iris bed.

Black Beard

There are countless varieties of irises, with new introductions every year. You can find them in just about every color of the rainbow (just about) and even black. The irises I grow are Tall Bearded Irises, but there are other types, really too many to list here. But you can read more about it if you click this link.

I can see how gardeners get addicted to irises. There are so many to choose from, the variety is endless. To me, they are some of the most beautiful flowers you can grow. They look so exotic, almost tropical. But you don't have to live in the tropics to have this perennial in your garden.

This iris below produced lots of blooms during the spring. They look so fancy. One would think they are hard to care for. On the contrary, irises are an easy plant to care for. That's probably the reason you may see them in a city park or planter.

Edith Wolford

Double Your Fun and Bonus Mama didn't bloom for me until September. They're still blooming now. I've read that they're rebloomers. So I'm anticipating blooms in spring and fall next year. Bonus Mama was the only one of my irises that grew a curvy stem. The rest were very straight.

Double Your Fun

Bonus Mama

Man About Town was known as "Mystery Iris" in my garden until a few days ago. My Philadelphia friend identified it for me. Handsome whatever you call him, still it's nice to know his name. I dig the stripes.

Man About Town

Returning Rose sounded to me like it was going to be a rebloomer, but she didn't bloom this fall. I think she gets her name from the fact that she just kept producing blooms over a long stretch in the spring. I photographed this one many times. I really like her. I'm sure we will be seeing more photos of her next year.

Returning Rose

1 comment:

Cynthia Gallegos said...

Hello my name is Cynthia and I was looking for a picture of Bonus Mama, found that, but also found one that I have had that I never really new for sure what the name of it was. You are saying yours is Man About Town. I still haven't looked up the one called Mystery Iris yet but will. I was wondering if I could send you a picture of the one that I am talking about & maybe you could tell me if it is the same as yours. So far it doesn't seem to get as tall as the Tall Beared ones. My email address is