Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Eye of Spring -- the Iris

Grandmother irises
I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't enjoy the beauty of the spring iris.  Early playful memories of living on a golf course in Independence,Ks. provide visions of nearly gnarled rows of purple and yellow irises blooming between the house where we lived and the bowling alley/golf shop.  One grandmother grew an entire garden of roses and lined it with irises, while my other grandmother planted them in the front yard beside the steps of the porch. That's why I named the purple iris the grandmother iris.

Their beauty shows through no matter where they grow, and people stop to admire their light lacy leaves blowing in the winds. 

Irises also tell stories about places we've lived or those who lived before us. Along 43rd st. in Hutchinson a clump of faded yellow irises bloomed every spring. Sometimes, I pulled off the road and walked over to admire their resilience, because someone's grandmother must have planted them by the corner of her house decades ago.  I say a word of grace to her angels reminding them that I know she once walked on that soil.  I left them there, even though I wanted to dig them up and take them home. 

Some of my irises in Kansas traveled with me from our home east of Norman, while others came from neighbors and sales at farmer's market.  I nursed them and moved them year after year trying to find the best place to enjoy them. 

The lovely white iris that blooms first and glows in the sunlight came from a lady's yard in OKC.  Before she died she asked my
daughter to take some of the irises and enjoy them, in memory. We shared those irises, and I wonder--will someone remember me through my flowers when I'm gone? 

I did my best to label the irises so I'd know what colors came from the rhizomes, but I failed in that attempt.  Before we moved  back to Oklahoma I dug rather blindly, hoping to take a variety.  I arrived with one of every color except yellow.  Then last week an iris bloomed that hadn't bloomed in Kansas. I was so excited I took pictures at night and by day. 

Violet colored bearded iris at night. 

Last year my mother-in-law asked me take some of her bulbs.  I planted them out back, so I could tell her grandchildren that these came from her home.  If I found her yellow ones, they didn't bloom this year, but others did.  

We've enjoyed an extraordinary spring in Oklahoma, and the "Eye" of spring bloomed for over a month.  Now as I look out my window I only see two blooms remaining, but I have birds all around the feeders, yellow knockout roses happily bouncing in the sunlight and wind, and buds on daisies and rabbit's ears are ready to burst forth and take the stage in my garden.  

What memories do you share with times past through the flowers in your garden? 

1 comment:

  1. Well your flowers took me down memory lane for sure, my mom used to raise Iris for the county fair. She won a first place once with the Lady Moore? I think that was it. I do love the Iris and thanks for the memories. Sending lots of love, light, and laughter your way. jd