Irises Come to Life Again

Dark red maroon iris.
Two years ago, in early spring, in order to build a bathroom for Josh's mom, we had to remove my oldest garden in the upper yard. New water lines, new power and a handicap-accessible entry had to be built. As part of that process, my iris collection had to be moved. Late summer is the best time to move iris, but these had to be carefully yanked out ahead of a back hoe and concrete trucks, in the wrong season. For the most part, it turned out to be a good move. When I had first established that garden it was in sunshine, but over the past 32 years it had become a shade garden as trees grew up around it and the irises had ceased blooming.
Golden flame iris.
The irises sat "temporarily" for a year under the old pear tree in the back yard, awaiting new places to grow. Still shaded under the pear, they had no inclination toward blooming. Then last fall, before our friend and intern, Adam, left for his next gardening assignment, he rescued the iris collection and spread them around to every available bed (some in places I am only now discovering).
Finally I'm getting to see my irises bloom again, most that I have not seen in many years. It's like a family reunion because some came from friends, some I bought on trips, others I ordered. If you haven't noticed by sticking your nose into irises lately, each color has a slightly different fragrance. I wish there was a way to record the smells to recall later.
Peach iris, from our friends Olee & Sharon Jobe at Spring Fever Greenhouse.
This one's been hiding in the shade for at least 10 years.
As each one opens, I'm excited to see the blooms again. Some I thought I'd lost, others I'd forgotten I had.
This is a new one I added from last year, found at Lowe's.
This one re-blooms again in late summer.
Another welcome sight are the roses which are just coming into their prime. This one, below, is an old Rugosa variety that my mother always grew. The fragrance in outstanding, use it in salads, ice cream and cakes.
Mom's rose, from her yard.
Old-fashioned shrub rose.
The red and white is an old fashioned shrub rose that I found at the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas last year. The fragrance is so good you can almost float on it. (See my book How to Eat a Rose for recipes for roses; you can also view my YouTube video on roses, too).
Planting tomatoes.
We've begun planting tomatoes today. Aaron and I put up cattle panels attached to fence posts and the tomatoes will be tied to the panels as they grow. It's the best method I've found for growing tomatoes.
Lower garden beds.
You can't tell from the photo but that's Aaron at the end of the row on the left. The beds are all tilled and most are mulched heavily with straw. Brown gravel covers the pathways between. In a few days the beds will be green with corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes and sunflowers.
View of part of the upper beds.
The upper garden is beginning to take shape, as well. All you can see is straw-covered beds, but those, too, will be green in a few days. Hooray for spring!

1 comment:

Carla said...

Your Iris are stunning. I have some too and always enjoy seeing them in the spring.

You do have a wonderful place to grow your vegetables, too. I envy the space you have.