Monday, May 21, 2007

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.



At 9:21 PM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Ah, that's gorgeous.

At 9:14 AM, May 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not quite as lovely as a bearded clam, but it'll do.

At 5:10 PM, May 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Nell, it must really be spring to find you here after all this time . . . and the world seems somehow more right to find you rhapsodizing about bearded iris, even if Walmart somehow found its way into the mix . . . :)

And it's no small surprise to find that you've discovered an outlet on the web for your incredible political and philosophical writings . . . a far cry from a bullhorn, eh?

You've been greatly missed in our group e-mail . . . maybe you don't even receive it any longer . . . I don't know, but it's hard to come to grips with the fact that we haven't heard from you in so long. Send us a smoke signal, will you please?



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