Saturday, June 17, 2017

Grand Iris Tour of 2017

Tammy and I have always loved our flowers.  In particular, Tammy likes her daylilies and Rob is particularly fond of bearded iris.  Actually, Tammy very much likes the iris and Rob very much likes the daylilies as well.  So, really it's not a problem.

A few people might remember our farm when we first moved there.  We brought a significant number of perennials (including iris and daylilies) from our previous location(s) and we had one fantastic garden area in the southwest portion of the farm. 
A picture from 2005 or 2006 of our iris in the southwest garden area.
It's pretty amazing the number of different iris in that picture and the sheer number of blooms going on there is almost ridiculous.  We would take 'grand tours' every morning and evening to enjoy them.  But, as we increased our vegetable and poultry farming operations, the time we could spend on our flowers declined. 

The same area in 2017 (facing the opposite direction)
We've allowed the old perennial garden to go more 'natural' over the years - mostly in response to our inability to keep it cleaned up.  We moved as many of the iris and daylilies out and put them in other locations, but as you can see, some iris still persist.  And, if anything, these appear to be getting a bit stronger.  And, we really do not mind.

Very few of our iris seem to bloom every year, with many showing up every other year and some others gracing us only every so often.  Some beds do better in one year and poorer the next.  I'm sure it has something to do with different weather conditions and the micro climate we can attribute to each bed.  Ok, that and... how much time we've had to do a little weeding and flower bed work.

The upshot of this is that we haven't quite had the same "Grand Iris Tours" we used to have.  Part of it is the reduced number of blooms, of course.  Another factor is the vague sense of disappointment that we haven't been able to maintain the flower gardens.  And, perhaps it's just because we get so caught up in farm work that we don't always take the time we should to go out and view the iris (our special take on "smelling the roses" - we "view the iris").

Finally, Tammy and I purposely went out (towards the end of the bloom season) and took some pictures and enjoyed some flowers.  We have shared them before.  Like these pictures in 2014.

I'm not always sure if I remember the names correctly.  At one point in time, I knew all of their names and all of their locations.  But, now, I just greet them all when I see them and ask their forgiveness if I've forgotten what I should call them. 
For the most part, the iris don't really seem to mind if I don't know their names.  They seem secure in their own identities. 
Red at Night
I suppose you could look at this a couple of ways.  These big, beautiful blooms either indicate supreme confidence and self-awareness OR you could wonder if they are trying to make up for something by being so bold and showy.
I prefer to think that they just like sharing a little beauty with us for the short period of time that is iris bloom season. 
I also suspect they take great pleasure in getting the farmers to do a double take as they zip around trying to get their work done.  Maybe they are a little bit vain, laughing quietly to themselves as they notice us nearly trip as we try to get from here to there quickly while still wanting to get a second glance at what they are doing now.
St Helen's Wake
And, every once in a while, an old friend reappears after all hope of seeing them again is lost.  St Helen's Wake is one of our 'oldest' friends.  She was in our first batch of iris we ordered many years ago when we lived elsewhere.  I was just lamenting her absence this Spring.  A few days later, there she was - looking fabulous.

Other iris are reliable every season and we are no less glad to see them as we are those prodigals who return after a year (or years) of absence.  Perhaps they are more sensitive to our remembering their names and they are aware that we tend to forget unless they make their yearly appearance?
Taco Supreme
And, every year we see them, we promise them that we will 'do better' for them.  They know us.  They are pretty certain we mean it.  They also know we are unlikely to be able to do it.  So, they just go about their business. 
Rare Treat
Sometimes, an iris even seems to pose for us.  "Go get your camera," they say.  I've put on my best clothes for you and the light is just perfect for me. 

And sometimes, we still take a picture, even if the light isn't right and the clothing is a little tattered after a strong wind and hot days.  Some of them seem a bit embarrassed by this.  Others, just appreciated that we still enjoy seeing them.

We hope you enjoyed our 2017 Grand Iris Tour.  Here's to another year of flowers sharing with the farmers (and hence... with you).

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