Article: It's a spring for Irises: Lovely

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Image It's a spring for Irises
By Sharon Brown on April 22, 2012

I have a ton of shortcomings; I just hate to admit to this one. I have sorely neglected my irises, I really have. But I swear, I promise to do much better; I really really will. And if you take time to read this, please don't look at the weeds. I honestly have no excuses.

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Apr 22, 2012 3:53 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Each and every one of them Lovey dubby Lovey dubby

You could have been writing about me in this article as I don't much pay attention to my irises either Whistling

This year, they are just beautiful but my peachy/coraly colored one isn't Sad Like you, I got it from an internet buddy and don't remember the name.

Here's what's blooming now:

Thumb of 2012-04-22/vic/0e7b4e
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Apr 22, 2012 4:03 PM CST
Name: Sharon
That's so beautiful, Vic. Such a pretty lilac-ish lavender.

Isn't it funny how we take them for granted. But I seem to have done that with several of my plants over the years. I guess the iris took matters into their own hands this year and made an appearance all on their own. I need to make a bed for them.

Thanks for such pretty blooms!
Apr 22, 2012 6:53 PM CST
Name: Pattie
Garland, TX
I have never bought an iris, but I have an iris bed. They are all gifts from online friends. The irises go into my "wild" bed, which until a couple of years ago went pretty much ignored by me. It was always pretty, with native plants being allowed to reseed freely, and the birds just loved it. But now, with all the irises, I can't tear myself away. They are all so different and so beautiful. I love it when one starts blooming and brings to my mind the person who gave it to me.

I got the original idea for the iris collection from my friend Melanie. A few years ago we had a group gift exchange, where the gift had to be associated with a craft or hobby. She loved her irises, and they are what she chose to share. I'd never had irises before that, and I know now that I planted them too deep, but I didn't know what was wrong back then. They didn't bloom or do much of anything for 3-4 years. Melly encouraged me to be patient, though, and she was right. They finally recovered, and began to bloom and spread. Now they come up and wave their masses of lavender heads at me every April, all in unison.

This year those beautiful lavender heads were more beautiful than ever. You see, now they aren't just the first of many irises. Now they are a legacy. Melly died last fall, and she was way too young to leave us.

So now when they bloom, I will not just think of my beautiful friend who gave me my first irises. I will remember that life is short, and none of us have any promises, and the friends and the beauty we find here are what life is all about.

Thanks, Sharon, for sharing your beautiful irises too.
Apr 22, 2012 7:09 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Yes, Pattie, just like that!! Exactly like that.

How beautiful. You know, when I see that copper iris bloom, I always think of that woman who lived beside my school. I never knew her name, never spoke to her, but isn't it something that I can still see her waving at me in my mind, everytime that iris blooms.

And just like yours, some of them were gifts from friends who were close to me, but are no longer living. What beautiful reminders Melly gave you and those memories will always be with you.

Flowers are the best memory makers I think.

Thanks so much for sharing your iris story. I hope that iris bed gives you years and years of pleasure.
Apr 22, 2012 7:13 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Iris are beautiful and resilient. I see them in fields where the house they once graced is long gone but they continue to bloom spring after spring as if they are unaware of the tall grass and weeds around them or that no one will lovingly water them in the hot dry months of summer. They seem to vanish after blooming and reappear as if by magic when spring arrives once more. I am sure that yours have forgiven you already Smiling
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Apr 22, 2012 7:16 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Thanks Zany. I think I've been forgiven too, either that or they are desperately needing attention, or are making up to me for not blooming for a few years. I don't know, but they sure are pretty right now.
Apr 23, 2012 12:58 AM CST
Name: Donna Yates
Happy Jack, AZ - Zone 5a
Ah ladies, iris are very forgiving, at least most are. I once saw Tall Bearded Iris blooming on a concrete slab. My DH & son had to dig up some leach line and it went under the iris bed. They finished the job, but forgot to replant the iris. They bloomed away regardless of the sudden change. Since our son didn't care for them I brought them home with me and planted them out by the mail boxes. It's been over thirty years ago, but I imagine that their offspring are still blooming away this Spring.

We have not been the best parents to our iris in the past 5-6 years, but they forgive us and send up their strong stocks full of beautiful colors of the rainbow every year. Weeds choke them out, squirrels, chipmunks & skunks dig around them for seeds or grubs, and the elk & deer stomp on them as they tromp through the iris beds. And believe it or not they still come back in all their glory. A bed full of colorful iris fills my heart with joy, and makes my day complete.

Gypsy Woman
Thumb of 2012-04-23/HappyJackMom/30611d
Apr 23, 2012 1:02 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Ahhhh Donna!! You tell the truth, look how badly neglected mine are. Still they grow and bloom and seem so happy to be here.

Your Gypsy Woman sure is pretty. From what I remember you have lots of beautiful irises.
Thanks for sharing your iris stories with us.

Strong little plants, aren't they. Maybe they thrive on neglect!
Enjoy your spring!
Apr 23, 2012 1:41 AM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Thanks for sharing your iris stories, Sharon. As always, you brought back memories for me. I don't have any iris here (yet), but we had some when I was a young adult at our cottage at Chatauqua Lake in Western New York. They were truly neglected... and yet every spring when I'd get up there (usually before the rest of my family), there they were! Blooming and welcoming! I'd always cut some to put on the kitchen table, knowing full well that the blooms wouldn't last more than a day, but then the buds would make more blooms for the next day, and sometimes even more on the third day! Perfect for a weekend at the lake! I need to plant some iris (irises? Irii? What is the plural???). Anyway, thanks for sharing!
Apr 23, 2012 2:53 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Sharon - thanks for yet another wonderful article. I so enjoy your writing. And the iris are stunning! I so wish those gorgeous bearded iris would grow here - my jaw dropped to the ground the first time I saw them flowering (in the UK). Oh so pretty.
Apr 23, 2012 5:36 AM CST
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx Zone 8b
Texas Gardening Cubit
Beautiful iris, great story!
Apr 23, 2012 7:11 AM CST
Name: Elena
Middle Tennessee
Excellent article as always. I, like you, am now determined to take better care of my beloved irises.
Apr 23, 2012 8:34 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Oh BFF, you don't need to know all about irises. Anything you need to know I can probably answer. Just like you've helped me with so many things I needed to know, and some things I didn't even know I needed to know.

I hope the beautiful irises you have are just the start of a beautiful year for you.
Apr 23, 2012 8:40 AM CST
Name: Sharon
So glad you all could join us in cheering for the irises. (And I'm pretty sure irises is the acceptable plural, Brenda!)

I'll tell you, the more I think about it the more respect I have for them. They never give up. They struggle as a result of our neglect sometimes, but in spite of us, they somehow take another deep breath and carry on.

Rann, I can't even imagine living where irises don't grow. I've taken them for granted but I would sorely miss them if I failed to see even that gorgeous foliage every spring, it's nearly as pretty as the blooms.

This time I've inspired myself. I'm going to create an iris bed and gather all of mine into one place. Surely they deserve that. Flowers hold our memories sometimes, we don't want to lose them.

Thanks, Ladies!
Apr 23, 2012 8:42 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Good Morning, Polly. Group hug
Apr 23, 2012 8:43 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Good morning, Sharon. Group hug
Apr 23, 2012 8:49 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Not to change the subject or anything, Polly, but did I tell you that our lilies are forming buds already? They are. It's way too early, but they have buds. Just so you know, I am taking care of something! *Blush*

Apr 23, 2012 8:54 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Yay. mine are just coming out of the ground.
Apr 23, 2012 8:58 AM CST
Name: Sharon
I thought we were in the same zone. How weird. My lilies are to my knees.

(Don't even say it. I know what you're thinking. My knees aren't all that far from the ground. But still, the lilies have buds!)
Apr 23, 2012 9:01 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Same zone, but totally different conditions. We have snow this morning. Where Jo Ann lives in Rochester, about 50 miles from me, they have a couple of inches snow. It's that lake that does it.

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