"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Iris Season!

VanGogh-Irises 2Image via Wikipedia
One of Van Gogh's many iris paintings.
Finally, the tall bearded irises in my backdoor bed are blooming. They opened sometime last night and this morning when we came out the door, there they were, glistening in the morning sunshine. That long wait was totally worth it. Several of these iris rhizomes were rescued from the lawn which had crept into their overly shady bed. I dug them in the middle of a misting spring rain, in the very chill world of mud and drizzle that is the early year. And the incident inspired this Poetry Friday post.
My purple veined iris that came with our house.

I think the irises I was digging and transplanting that day are these lush, purple veined ones, and I think the fluttery lilac one below is a variety I ordered from the excellent folks at Shreiner's Iris Gardens, along with a brilliant butter yellow which I hope is still coming.
If you're looking for some new irises, I heartily recommend them. The only caveat is that you'll get lost drooling over the photos on their web site. If you're a novice gardener, looking for some recommendations, bearded irises are a good pick, they're beautiful, often fragrant, make beautiful cut flowers and given sunshine they are carefree and unfussy. I love them for all these reasons and also for the fact that they are so historically enduring. Irises are one of those flowers that often outlives houses or at least the owners of said houses and will still be bravely blooming every spring, even if their good gardeners have gone on to contribute to the soil themselves. I love a resourceful romantic, even if the romantic is a plant.
Claude Monet 056Image via Wikipedia
Monet's iris path. Someday, I'll visit.

Next iris task is to paint my own rendition of them, after the great masters of brush and palette. I have in mind to try my hand at this beautiful basket of cut irises for sale that I photographed in a garden France during our trip to Europe in 2008.

I've been thinking about it for years, way before I "could" paint. A and I used to play this game somewhat perpetually called "If I Could Paint" wherein we'd call out to the other person and point when a particularly heart-tugging image hit us and we wished we were able to wield a brush. It still cracks me up to think that suddenly one day, I discovered I could paint...I have years of catch-up ahead of me. That game set me up with a long list of future subjects.

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