Passalong Iris show this garden’s heart


I love Irises. They are one of the few large flowering plants that flourish in Central Texas. Our heat and humidity often creates smaller blooms with tubular shapes rather than large, showy flowers. And I love me some show-off blooms!

The Iris in my garden put on an extra special show this year. Perhaps because I gave them a better bed with improved drainage and actually remembered to feed them some compost?

The first to bloom is a passalong from Annie in Austin, the White “Cemetary” Iris, an elegant and tall blooming stalk.

Next to come were the ever-dependable Amethyst Flame Irises, a welcomed passalong of a few years ago from Pam, Digging. Perhaps it was the extra cold winter we had that spurred the bulbs on to prolific blooming?

And Then! The fragrant peach Iris, again from Annie in Austin, burst into greatness. This is my first year to see this bloom, and wow! Dozens of blooms on only a few plants. But most importantly, when I leaned in to get that first whiff of the morning, I was instantly transported to my Grandmother’s Garden.

My Grandmother had her Iris beds all throughout her yard. When I smelled this fragrance, I immediately felt myself digging in the dirt beside her. She ALWAYS wore her bonnet and gardening dress (my Grandmother never wore pants, not once in her life.)

My mother had Iris, too, but when I think of my mother’s flowers I think of roses and tulips more than Iris. The Iris belonged to Granny Lena.

I’d forgotten what a good Iris can smell like. Thank you Annie!

Next to come was a trip to a new nursery with Diana, Sharing Nature’s Garden. As we entered, we both exclaimed at the same time and made a beeline for the gorgeous group of blooming Irises for sale. Fortunately, we both grabbed our favorites which weren’t the same one, so no fisticuffs ensued.

So this saturated-mango-colored Iris below joined the crowd:

And not to be outdone, today my final plant bloomed. Bob, Draco Gardens passed on this stunner from his mother’s Iris beds. At the time he gave it to me, he wasn’t sure what color it was, only that it was probably brownish or purple. When the buds FINALLY formed on this late-season bloomer, I anxiously awaited. And no, the sonogram didn’t tell me anything…(sorry, couldn’t resist…it felt like I was anticipating birth).

My impatience paid off with quite the reward! Thank you, Bob, for passing along such an exotic beauty that fits right in with the purple, lavender and white larkspur planted nearby. Isn’t this gorgeous?

I’m thrilled with the Irises, and hope that they may have many more years of prolific blooms and being passed along to even more gardens. Look at the beauty that sharing creates!

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11 thoughts on “Passalong Iris show this garden’s heart

  1. The Irises are just beautiful. I love the new mango ones, what a pop! Have you had luck with the peach one spreading? I have a bed in the backyard with about 30 white and only 1 peach. I am hoping it spreads, since it was my favorite of the bunch.

  2. I like iris too. But in addition to the flowers in spring I like how it gives some structure in the summer garden. So many of my plants seem to be small leaved and iris stands up tall and broad among the summer bloomers. I find that most of the winter too it gives something to look at…and my mother-in-law hasn’t killed it yet in the little plot I tend for her at her house.

  3. I can hardly decide which iris is my favorite. They’re all so beautiful, from the delicate peach to the dramatic Amethyst Flame and Bob’s mother’s showstopper! You must be in heaven. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous, Robin! They like you… they really like you!
    That white & purple iris from Bob is a beauty. I wish I could tell you more about the peachy iris, but when I bought it at a Hyde Park housewalk, it wasn’t in bloom and was supposed to be blue. The color wasn’t expected but the fragrance was a bonus. It doesn’t remind me of my grandmother, but of pedaling to Polly’s corner store for a Creamsicle.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  5. Laura, the peach one seems to be the biggest spreader for me, more than the others. But it did take two years for it to spread and bloom. Perhaps yours needs more time?

    Nancy, I agree that the Iris leaves give great structure even in winter. Bonus!

    Iris, Of course with a name like yours, you would have to love them! I like that they each come with a story.

    Annie, whatever color, I love that fragrance. And now you are making me want a Creamsicle. I’m headed now to the store for Orange Sherbet and Vanilla ice cream, be back later….

  6. Pam,that would make me very happy to have a Lucinda flower to add to the party. It will add some spice, I’m sure! Thank you!

  7. Robin, what a beautiful story! New friends, old irises. But especially the story of your grandmother. You know, my grandmother never wore pants either, but sure wish she’d grown some fragrant irises to remind me of her with your new passalongs!

  8. Caroline, I’ll cross fingers for your blooms next year, too! My love it under the cedar elms in very well drained soil.

    Linda, perhaps your Grandmother felt fragrant enough sans pants in the yard? Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Really, homes and gardens are all about stories, aren’t they?

  9. Pingback: What is native, anyway? « Getting Grounded

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