When I was little, my grandmother gave me an antique iris ring. Then, my hands were small enough to wear it on an index finger. It was sparkly and I liked it because it had a diamond... my first real diamond.
I brattily outgrew its sentiment in high school and was too careless and crazy to have it in college. Mom stashed the ring in her jewelry box for several years. You know, "... because some day you'll appreciate it."
Mom gave the ring back about six years ago and today I wear it on my left pinky. It's quite beautiful - a large, glimmering opal positioned in the fall and a diamond chip in the standard. I no longer find it gaudy and I don't really care that it's too small to wear on an appropriate finger.
It means so much more to me today than it did 20 years ago.
To be honest, I don't know if Grandma Peggy even liked irises, but the flower (and the ring) will forever remind me of her. So, I've decided to dedicated all the irises in my garden to her (Grandma Hoover claims the Royal Star Magnolia). Since I only have but a handful - and that doesn't seem a fitting dedication - I have to order more.
I've know about Schreiner's Iris Gardens for a few months, but never put much thought into having an iris collection. I mean... I purchased a few rhizomes last fall (mainly for floral variety in my perennial bed) but after receiving Schreiner's Iris Lover's Catalog, I must have a whole garden full.
The iris, another flower Monet was right about...
My top picks from the Mini Edition of Schreiner's catalog are Fashion Queen (L) and Native Tale (R)
Dancing the Night Away (L) and Aristocracy (R)
Sweeter than Wine (L) and Musette (R)
These seven total about $75 and I'm really eager to pull the trigger and purchase them all, but I'm worried about the ones I've already planted. Will they come up? Did I plant them too deep? Are they frozen out there?!
Irises boastfully proclaim "We are easy to grow!" but are they really? I'd love to know your thoughts on this beautiful flower. Do you grow them? Which ones do you have?
*All photos from Schreiner's Iris Gardens website.