“Since Iris is the Greek goddess for the Messenger of Love, her sacred flower is considered the symbol of communication and messages. Greek men would often plant an iris on the graves of their beloved women as a tribute to the goddess Iris, whose duty it was to take the souls of women to the Elysian fields” ~ Hana No Monogatari: The Stories of Flowers
Irises have always been my favourite flowers so I was disappointed when a landscaper told me I would not be able to grow them in my garden. Very dissapointed in fact. As a compromise we planted Dietes, a South African wild Iris. I like them well enough. What I like is the leaves, strong, strappy upright growing and they bend slightly at the top. They provide form and interest against the other plants in the garden. The flowers are ok, but unimpressive.
I wasn’t ready to give up on on the idea of having Irises and when I saw some for sale at a rare plant fair I bought six of them to try (how I wish I had bought a truck load full of them!). They are Louisiana Irises – Colorific, Sinfonietta and Stanley Blue. What I bought was the rhizomes with just a few leaves (cut really short). I planted them and hoped for the best … And the best happened!
Right now two are flowering and all the others have buds. Each individual rhizome has formed a clump and they will be ready for dividing in Autumn (Yay! More Irises!)
My gorgeous Irises …
Now that I know I can grow Irises I am on the hunt for more and have found someone in Johannesburg who specialises in Louisiana Irises who is going to be sending some to me next week. I’ll be replacing all the “spent tulips” with Irises. What joy!