Monday, May 24, 2010

The iris are blooming

Of course, the iris are blooming. It's what iris do every spring.

Well, not my iris. But my iris comes with a story.

When my sister, Joan, lived in rural Ames, Iowa, there were several abandoned - and I mean abandoned, as in no one was ever coming back - farm houses: delapidated, decrepit, deformed and unfit for human habitation.

But oh, the treasures we found in those old places.

Carefully creeping through windows and negotiating wooden floors about to give way, we found old pots, teakettles (perfect planters), an old bed frame, a wonderful old hand lotion bottle, some great rusty utensils, some old clay pots, and other various items of nostalgia.

Because we needed to feel connected to these places, we named them. One was "Margaret and Thomas's" house (I think we found some old junk mail in the house addressed to Margaret and Thomas), and the other was "Elizabeth's house." The former occupant really was named Elizabeth and my sister had heard she had long ago been moved to a nursing home.

It was at Elizabeth's where we found the iris. Sorely neglected but still standing proud and strong, they needed to live with us (we decided) where they would receive tender, loving care and continue to honor Elizabeth.

So we dug them up, divided them, planted some at Joan's and I took the rest home. We didn't even know what color the flowers were.

Sure enough, the following spring, they stood in my garden sturdy as can be and the most beautiful yellow blossoms came forth.

The next year - nothing. They just stood there, all green, no blossoms, no flowers. The year after, same thing. The third year, out they came again with beautiful yellow flowers.

So it appears that is their cycle. And this is the year of the bloom.

Aren't they lovely? Thank you, Elizabeth.