Wednesday, May 15, 2013


The previous owners of our home, as I have mentioned, were bulb-crazy. They planted lots of irises, along with a few tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The iris bulbs had multiplied a great deal by the time we bought the house and so we have a profusion of them every spring, but always after all the other bulbs have bloomed. This year, the irises actually bloomed a little later than normal; our spring was colder than average and many plants seemed slower to put out leaves and flowers, including the irises. But they're here now, in great quantities.

I think we only have two kinds, as shown in my photos. I don't know the breed names, just that we have pinkish ones and purplish ones. I will sometimes clip a few to make a bouquet for the kitchen table but I haven't done it this year. I find irises to be a bit messy in a vase, so I have to be in the right mood to bring them inside.

Irises, like orchids, seem very sophisticated to me, like grown-up flowers. I also find them to be slightly ostentatious - a little gaudy, even. I enjoy their beauty very much but they don't call out to me the way tulips do. Tulips are simpler and easier to understand. Irises seem a little bit fussy. I was disappointed this spring when my tulip buds were eaten by aphids before they even had a chance to bloom. I think I'll plant some more tulip bulbs this fall, along with grape hyacinths. I don't have nearly enough of either of those.

One of my favorite things about learning how to garden is trying to stagger the blooming times so that something is always in flower. The irises may be fussy and flashy, but they're also late: I know that no matter how many tulip and hyacinth bulbs I plant, the irises won't compete with the bulbs blooming in early April. Instead, they'll wait for their moment in the spotlight, gracing us with their dramatic beauty throughout May.


  1. Yes,I totally agree Jennifer! ..their dramatic beauty!! It must be so wonderful to have these wild irises in your garden!And so many!Here, summer is in the corner and the blooming period is almost at the end.
    Big hugs

  2. Yes, they certainly have their own character and make sure they get their moment to shine! My tulips didn't come up this year either which was very disappointing. I have heard we are 5 weeks behind in the UK because of the cold weather, so everything is playing catch up here. :( I don't have Irises, but your photos make me want some! They are so pretty! Maybe for next year. :)

  3. you take such great pictures!

    thanks for stopping by our blog, really pleased to have found yours :)
    looking forward to seeing all your crocheting creations, it a skill i so wished i possessed.

  4. There are some iris's growing in my yard and I am always excited to see them after they bloom. The ones in my yard are the 'purplish' ones but the pink ones are really pretty too! I like how you describe iris's as 'grown up flowers.'

  5. These look so beautiful!
    The colours are perfectly lovely.

    I'd love to have flowers blooming all year round in
    my garden, at the moment all the blossoms on my
    apple trees are in full bloom, they look beautiful!

    Have a lovely day : )

  6. I love Mom called them "Flags"...not sure why!
    Most of the Irises I have here at home were from my Mom's garden, so they are especially special..Mine won't bloom for another month or so...I have beautiful Yellow ones at the cottage and a deep peachy colour...I will feature them when it is their time in the spotlight!!!
    Yours look lovely, Jennifer...a true old-fashioned perennial...
    Do you grow Hollyhocks??? Another old fashioned one...and very beautiful...

    Linda :o)

  7. What beautiful flowers and amazing photgraphs, you are so clever.. with our late spring and now sudden change to cold weather my irises are not flowerin.... yet! I love the colours of yours.
    Chris x

  8. I adore irises.. we have a few in bloom. I'd like more varieties. I have a tan one that is less than exciting and a white and purple one. My mom loved them too. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. Really beautiful irises, and photos too.
    M x

  10. Oh those irises are really beautiful, fabulous photos too. My tulips seem to have died out, only a few "Queen of the Night" have bloomed this Spring.
    Carol xx

  11. You have a fun story-land garden with plants of various personalities and character. These pretentious irises with its impressive beauty brings drama to the collection. I am imagining the chatter in your garden right now!
    Handmade Cuties

  12. Jennifer,

    I so know what you mean about having colour all the year round. It's something that I've been trying to achieve. Of course everything is behind in the UK because of this ridiculous weather. My Irises haven't come out yet, so I've very much enjoyed looking at yours.

    Leanne xx

  13. I love irises. They remind me of my grandmother.

  14. Beautiful! I can't wait until I have a yard and a garden!

  15. Those flowers looks gorgeous! I absolutely love the contrast of the purple with pink and orange. My mom used to have those in her garden when I was younger and she'd click them for the table too, and sometimes for my bus driver :)

  16. I love irises, especially the big, showy bearded ones. My parents had some beautiful ones in the garden at their previous house, which bloomed in a cluster by their pond.

  17. I know just what you mean - I'd take a bunch of tulips over irises any day. There is something show-offy about them, if you know what I mean. But like you I am learning that it's always nice to have something in bloom in the garden. The oolour is welcome if nothing else! x


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