Saturday, January 3, 2009

We Are Being Visited By a Goddess

Yellow  Iris

Iris was the messenger of the Zeus and Hera. Her father was a god of the sea and her mother was a cloud-nymph. She is also called the goddess of the rainbow because that was the trail she took from Mount Olympus in the heavens down to earth. Iris was created from a combination of sky and water and both are represented in the passageway she travels when a rainbow is seen. In addition to her task delivering messages, she also lead recently departed human women to the afterlife via her beautifully colored pathway. This flower was a personal favorite of the goddess and was planted on the graves of females to help her identify them so they would have a speedy journey to heaven. Hence, the blooms became known as the Iris flower.

It’s no surprise to me to find the un-named yellow iris blooming in the picture above. It blooms every single winter for some reason and never seems to show any blooms during the spring or summer. I find that extremely unusual, but I rarely question why it happens anymore and I just accept the fact that it does and I am grateful for it.

The big surprise this year is ‘Ice Wings’. This iris is ending its second year in our garden and this is the first time it has ever bloomed. When the buds first began to appear they were the most unusual shades of blue, they are reminiscent of the color the interior of the house was once painted and it was called Ice Blue.

Ice Wings2

‘Ice Wings’ is a border Iris and is very short in stature. It’s grown a very nice clump so I think it’s safe to say it spreads quickly which is a plus; even though it was slow to blossom. This particular plant transforms its flower buds from pale blue to white which progresses as the bloom begins to open. It also has a nice green colored throat.

Ice Wings1

I knew we had planted this Iris, but I was certain it was no longer in the garden. The tag for it had been blown from its original location, so there was nothing to identify this clump of foliage. How nice to find out it survived. The next question is, will it on bloom in the winter like the yellow one does or will it provide us with another show of blooms in the spring? Only time will tell.

Ice Wings3


The Garden Faerie said...

I too love iris (bearded and Siberian), but as with everything else, it will be awhile before it's up in my garden. I realized many of my bearded iris had been planted too deeply (see how I use passive voice so it doesn't sound like it's my fault! ;-) *and* were being shaded out, so I moved a lot int he fall, and am ready for a colorful display in spring...
~ Monica

Anonymous said...

Such beauties to be gracing you with their blooms right now! I love Bearded Irises, they are my grandmother's favorite perennial. In fact her name is Iris, lol. :) Ice Wings is stunning!

Cosmo said...

Hi, Randy--How lucky you are to have iris bloom in winter. I'm going to get some "Ice Wings" IMMEDIATELY--they're gorgeous--though I suspect they'll still bloom later for us. I hope you and Jamie have a wonderful, tornado-free New Year!

Frances said...

Hi Randy, that is just fantastic to have iris bloom in the winter. I have never seen any that bloomed at that time. Love them both, and I am sure you do too. Thanks for the lore surrounding them too, all new to me, I love the story of the pathways.

Jamie and Randy said...

I love Irises! We have Bearded, Siberian, Japanese, Dutch, Louisiana and African. Spring was wonderful last year! I hope we have a good show again this year.

How wonderful that you mother was named after such a lovely flower! I can’t wait for spring to get here! I also hope we add a few more to our collection too. :-)

Hey Cosmo! We are indeed lucky and I hope we never see that nasty T word again! If you can’t find ‘Ice Wings’ let me know, it’s just a small clump, but we would be happy to share it with after it finishes blooming.:-)

Jamie and Randy said...

Oh Frances,
There are so many stories about how flowers came to be named. I seek them out, everyone a treasure. You should pick a few and Google them for Myths and Legends of how they came to be named. It's a wonderful adventure!

Pam/Digging said...

Goodness, the iris seem early. But I saw buds on a few of my old 'Amethyst Flame' irises at the old house when I checked on it recently. I need to pop back over and see if they're blooming too.

Roses and Lilacs said...

The iris are so delicate and lovely. I don't think orchids are any more beautiful. Too bad their bloom time is so short.

Jamie and Randy said...

Pam, for what ever reason that yellow iris has always bloomed this time of year,but I did notice other things that are putting out new growth.

I've always thought Irises were just as pretty as any orchid. I can't wait to see if any of the new cultivar we got bloom this Sping!

Chandramouli S said...

Wonderful Irises. Thank you for giving us an insight into its ancient relation. It's always great to know the background of your plant. Moreover when your plant is mentioned in Mythologies it becomes extra special.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Irises are the most beautiful blooms in a garden (IMHO). You have such beauties!

Tell me more about the Africian irises.


Jamie and Randy said...

Chandramouli S,
I poisitively love myths concerning the names of plants. I'm glad you enjoy them too!

I have three different species of African Iris and only one is currently identified, Iridaceae Dietes bicolor. They’re sometimes called Spanish Iris and Peacock Iris. I’ve tried to identify the other two, but there are just too many of them out there to determine which ones they actually are. I’ll be posting pictures of them when they bloom and maybe they can help identify them. I love Irises, all together we have 36 different ones.:-)

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I will have to see if I can grow African irises here. I'm intrigued! I have Ensata and Siberica right now. I still haven't gotten around to bearded -- only 3 years here, so the gardens are a work in progress.


Gail said...

Dear Randy, Where are you that you get Iris to bloom in the winter...maybe it is an eden! Both are lovely. I have a few Iris...the old fashioned ones, that smell of grape soda and I associate with the purple haired ladies, a few siberians and a very early deep lilac/blue bearded iris. They are all beautiful. I love the native columbine as a companion to the purple iris. gail

Phillip said...

Okay, how did I miss this post? Anyway, Michael's aunt Berniece asked me back in late summer if it was okay for her to trim back her iris. I told her yes. Now she says that she has iris blooming! Do you cut yours back? It is very pretty.

Jamie and Randy said...

Jamie and I got into a little slump for a while but we've been working in the garden again lately and it's rewarding us with blooms. We have a large variety of irises and I'm ready for them to start spreading so we can share some of them. So keep your eyes peeled for any that may interest you on the blog.

I don't usually trim my iris back. I have in the past, but it really depends on how ratty the foliage is looking.I do keep the dying blades removed.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous iris's (is that a word?!). Your yellow one rivals my yellow pansy that I just posted:)
Your entire post is interesting and informative. I love these plants but mine don't bloom:( I think I need to move them to a better area in my yard. Yours are beautiful and what a treat to have them bloom in winter:)

Jamie and Randy said...

For several years mine didn't bloom because they weren't getting enough sun. At least I think that was the problem, or they may have been too deep. At any rate, they are doing much better now.--Randy

Kylee said...

Irises blooming in the winter! I can only imagine how wonderful that is!

Jamie and Randy said...

Kylee it's so good to see you again! I hope you've been doing well. Ice Wings is still trying to bloom but the cold is getting to them first.--Randy

Kylee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kylee said...

It wasn't my intention to be away so long! I'm finding it overwhelming to blog and take photographs and read blogs and comment and ... LIVE LIFE! lololol!

I'll be around again, don't worry. You can't get rid of me THAT easily! ;-)