Return of garden blogging: bearded iris
Raising my eyes from the screen, I realize the need to savor the glorious blooms of May.
We're nearing the end of the season for bearded iris, which come in such a vast range of colors and color combinations that it's easy to go overboard trying to grow some of each. But for effect, there's nothing like a single big clump of one beautiful variety in full bloom.
In the yard of a double-wide trailer on the way into town is just such a clump. At its absolute peak, glowing in the late-afternoon light, it was such a spectacle that I just had to pull over and drink it in. As I reluctantly pulled away, I wondered how the owners, who grow nothing else of horticultural note, came to plant an iris as relatively new and fancy as 'Haute les Voiles'.
Chalk it up to globalized, industrial plant production and mass marketing: from France to Holland to Wal-Mart, where the picture on the box probably caught the owner's eye. For once, the result has more than lived up to the advertising.
Image: 'Haute les Voiles' as seen at the 2002 national convention of the American Iris Society in Memphis, Tennessee. I've lost the photographer's name.