I have fallen in love with a flower. It’s been, I have to say, a long time since this has happened, because once your garden has been faithless and difficult, once you’ve seen a flower that thrives in someone else’s garden, but not yours, once a flower has laughed in your face and flounced away–well, you vow never to love again. But yesterday my florentine irises bloomed for the first time, and I was left moonstruck. Their silvery, almost lunar, color, their naturally aristocratic air, as though they had just stepped off of a Medici tapestry, their sheer loveliness . . . So I would like to share some photos taken just after this afternoon’s rainstorm.
Their full name is Iris germanica x florentina. They were originally cultivated in medieval times in Florence, Italy, for their roots, which smell of violets when dried.
Florentine irises were also grown in medieval castle and herb gardens. They were called “white flags.” A blue Iris germanica, called “blue flag,” was also grown.
The fragrance of this iris is slightly spicy, sweet, and clean.
The petals with the yellow “beards,” are actually petal-like sepals, called “falls.” The three true petals stand upright.
Speaking of being moonstruck, I sat out on our back porch the other night, and turned my camera to the moon again.
It looked enormous.
Mist began to move in.
Dark clouds soon obscured the moon entirely. At any rate, between the flowers of unearthly beauty, and the mysterious moon, I have been having some beautiful, moonstruck days. Namaste. Fran