Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Stroll- May 17, 2009

After a week of intense storms, we're having a perfect May Sunday. It's graduation weekend at the University of Illinois, as well as prom weekend for my family's high school. Those events, celebrated by several generations of my family, are forever associated with "iris time" in local gardens.

All of my irises are pass-alongs from family members. My grandmother, who was an ace gardener, made sure that when we moved to this house we would have all the beautiful flowers we wanted from her divisions. Forsythia, iris, lambs-ears, jonquils- all unnamed but much loved, have flourished in my flower beds. Now, I'm ready to share with my children as they get their own homes.

These beautiful lavender iris are from Grandma H. I've divided them and sent some on to my sisters. There are also some pale beige-y ones that you can just see in the left corner of the picture. They are not a very pretty color, I'll admit, but they have sentimental value to me, so I keep growing them. No one wants to take divisions of them, though!

These royal purple iris are from my sister's garden. She got them from a neighbor. Who needs garden stores? These are very tall and stately, and my very favorites.

Finally, there are some shorter gold and brown iris that contrast wonderfully with the purple. These are also Grandma's, and she told me they came from her mother-in-law's garden, so they are a cultivar that goes back to the late nineteenth century. It's just fun to think about the way all that gardening knowledge is passed down in the family.
To see who else is strolling, and what else is blooming, visit The Quiet Country House.


Aisling said...

Iris blooming already! I noticed my first iris bud today, so I guess I'm not too far behind. Yours are all beautiful, and I just love their gardening story. Many of my iris come from a gardening friend, but their story does not go back generations like yours. What a wonderful legacy to keep passing on through your family!

Green Mamma said...

Beautiful irises. I just photographed several that are growing along the paths in my town; they are such erotic flowers and yet so fragile (in my opinion anyway).

Glad to have found your stroll through the Quiet Country House, :-)

Rose said...

Your irises are beautiful, Joyce! So far I've resisted the urge to buy a few new ones when plant shopping. All of mine are passalongs, too; I think the history behind each one is more interesting than knowing some botanical name. When you know a plant has been passed down through the family, it makes it much more special.

matt said...

I was always a fan of the lamb's ears. I have inherited my plants from the previous owner, by and large - which includes a stand of irises that have one bud on them at the moment. We're behind you... all the way.

I was always a fan of the lamb's ears. They had a cool texture.

Joyce said...

Matt, I remember you kids "petting" the lamb's ears when you were little.

Your irises might bloom more if you divide them. Wait until July or August to do that, though.

Diana said...

Love the irises! Beautiful color! It will be a while till mine bloom, but I did get a number of new varieties this year.

Nan said...

You are so, so lucky, Joyce to have all these pass-along plants. The pale purple take my breath away. I clicked on the pic to get a better view of the 'beige-y' one, and I like the touch of pink there. I've been thinking lately about the wonder of nature, that the same time every year certain flowers or trees are in blossom. The birds come back within the same few days each year. It is truly a miracle, and I love the way we can mark the events in our lives by the natural life around us. Beautiful post, Joyce. Thank you.