Sunday, May 8, 2016

Iris! May 8, 2016


It's May! Finally it's May even if it's cool and damp, it's still May!

My "calendar year" follows the cycle of blooming flowers. Earlier spring flowers have bloomed. Crocus, snow drops, daffodils, tulips and other tiny ones have put forth their "smiley faces". They are gone now and are storing up energy in their bulbs for next year's display.

Now it's time for iris! My love for iris  goes "way back" to my childhood days on Potter Farm Lane where my folks rented a home from "The Potters" who owned many acres of farmland, woods and a pond which we called "The Lake".

Our home was bordered fences - a fence by the corn field, a fence by the orchard, a fence to keep the Herford cattle in their area and a fence alongside Potter Farm Lane. We learned how to climb through those barbed wire fences - by holding up the second wire and crawling through to the other side without getting snapped or catching our clothes on a barb.

I don't remember the front fence being made of barbed wire - but it may have been a square pattern of wire. I know that it was a perfect place to plant Iris - on "our side of the fence".

We went to Withamsville Baptist Church where we had many special friends including Grandma Gregor. Grandma Gregor was definitely "Grandma" for those of us who knew her. She lived on Nine Mile Road in a home with a huge cast iron stove and a room full of indoor plants. She wore cotton aprons. And, she raised chickens. This was a time when everyone had an outhouse, too!

Grandma Gregor would come to visit us.  I believe she was our "baby sitter, when Mama was working "outside the home". Grandma Gregor brought plants from her home to share with us. She taught me how to plant Iris along the front fence.We also planted some polyanthus! She showed me how to clean the shovel, pitchfork and hoe in the small stream that ran through the back ditch down to "The Lake". 

I remember the patch of orange road lilies that came up every year by the corner of the house. I also had my own small garden on the east side of the house with three moon flowers (Datura) that came up every year. *Note: I had these flowers in pots on the cottage porch when Mama was here during her last years. She and I enjoyed the moon flowers  "again" as memories of  Potter Farm Lane.  I learned how to make a "hot house" to raise some lettuce. And for Easter 1945, Mama gave me a small book about flowers which I still read and enjoy. I've made line drawings of  some of the flowers from that book.

Today I have many iris (at least 20 different varieties). The first to bloom this year was a yellow/rust combo followed by another white one edged in purple. For die-hard iris lovers there is  Facebook page called "Iris Friend" where pictures are posted almost every day of one incredible Iris "after another". For awhile I tried to remember the names of my iris plants. Now, I'm just happy to see them in bloom

If any of you ever want some iris rhizomes, let me know. I'm glad to share!

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