Iris and a Heritage Story

Posted By on May 23, 2013

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI find it absolutely amazing when one flower fades another arises in its place. This week our lovely iris have moved to center stage. I love their fluttering shapes and wispy colors. I was absolutely giddy when I began to see the buds bulge at the base of the fans. Quite a site to see — elegance rising like royalty through its guard of closely fit blades. I was also excited to see SO many buds forming. Last year we only had a few and I knew it was only a few colors. In addition, I didn’t even KNOW what color iris I had to begin with as I’ll explain in a bit.

This post is mainly to debut their beauty!

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I received our iris from two places. One was from my God mother’s house after she passed and the other was from my cousin who’s iris were actually her mother’s, my great Aunt Imogene. So, in reality my beautiful blooms are a living ode to my family who is now looking down at them from heaven. Heritage flowers. In fact, most of my flowers are of the heritage type which I find to be a more meaningful remembrance of these wonderful gardeners who were in my life growing up.

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Many of my relatives on my mother’s side were phenomenal flower (and vegetable) gardeners. My grandmother, Margaret, herself raised some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve seen. Big and beautiful! The most prized it seems was ‘Stepping Out.’ I unfortunately do not have that particular color in my collection as of yet. She also grew magnificent gladiolas. My grandfather Byron, her husband, was also active in their sweet garden. I remember he had made what essentially was raised bed on legs that he filled with petunias every year. He would try to get the newest ones for that particular year. The box would give a flashy show every year, and many have commented about it while conversing with me about him and gardening. His vegetables were also something of wonder. Six foot tomato plants, finely tied raspberry trellises, and a cucumber awning to boot. They were making the world a better place with their simple love of the delicate living plants. I suppose this is why in my mind I idealize those two.

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My great great Aunt Minnie, who I thankfully got to know a bit, had extensive gardens. I always found her to be a curious lady, but I always knew she had great love for the outdoors. I remember at the age of 90 in near 100 degrees and very high humidity she would be bent over in her garden, tending to it. A bit crazy, but I can understand. Some of the beauties I can remember were the cannas that flanked her vegetable garden, the poofy pampas grass that lined her front yard, the overgrown ferns by her front steps (which no one ever used), her huge lilacs lining the road, and her almost fairy-like garden that flowed around the skirts of her house. If you’d like to see a glimpse of it that’s been preserved in history, rent ‘The Straight Story.’ Her home is seen when the main character leaves town the first time and drives by a mother hanging laundry with her son and his golden retriever.

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These three are just a few of my kin who are strong gardeners. However, these are the ones whose memory holds strong in my mind and shaped my love of the earth the most. I’m sorry to any family who reads this and wonders why they are not mentioned in this post. Your time may come another day.

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Enjoy all of life’s wonders, but cherish the ones that are to fade most.

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–Annissa–

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