Sunday, April 12, 2020


When we first moved to the farm, we brought fifty or sixty iris varieties with us.  We planted them in a beautiful 'wavy' shaped bed that would turn out to be its own undoing some years later.  But, the results we received in the second season were absolutely spectacular.  It may go down as one of our best gardening achievements.

For two people who love German Bearded Iris, this was a wonderful treat and we took the time to gather fresh bouquets and take walks to the garden to enjoy the fragrances and gorgeous color palette.

Then, our farm started to grow.  From a half acre of veggies to two acres to five acres....   When do you weed and care for the iris?   The answer was, we couldn't.

And they suffered for it.

We have since tried to move some our favorite iris from the "overgrown" area that was once this iris bed, but we didn't get them all.  And, most years, we still get a few blooms where they once commanded the entire area.  There are some stalwart varieties that show up most seasons.  But, there are many we are pretty sure are gone from our farm, never to return unless we can find that variety somewhere else and purchase it.

But, last year, we had a surprise.

This was one of the first varieties we picked up... twenty-some years ago.  And there it was, after a difficult Spring for us at the farm.  A single stalk.  Gently bobbing in the breeze.


  1. Hello, Rob—thank you for another wonderful post. Your former iris planting was just stunning! Your post brought back bittersweet memories of when I was a child growing up near San Francisco, and my grandmother sent me a catalog for the now-defunct Cooley's Garden ( I treasured that catalog and was thrilled when she said I could pick out 12 bearded iris varieties to plant in my own garden. I carefully chose my even dozen, planted them when they arrived, and when they bloomed the following spring, marveled at their jewel tones, orchid-like delicacy, and delicious fragrance wafting in the breeze. But alas, our California gophers had a feast underground, and barely an iris came up the next spring. A hard lesson learned but beauty ever so fleeting was but treasured even more. Keep on writing!

    1. Ah, Cooley's. That is the catalog that got us going. Once we started, we couldn't stop... until the farm took over, then we did stop. We're both hoping some will come back this year after the beating the beds around the house took this Winter as we re-sided the house. Whatever blooms, we'll take pictures of and share here.


Thank you for your input! We appreciate hearing what you have to say.