The Beauty of Irises



irises5Spring is in the air, and Mom’s new iris bed is a glory to behold. Just like some other irises I could think of.






irises2She’s always had irises, from as long as I can remember. Her favorite flower, and she does have a green thumb. She recently moved down here, and had to leave her irises behind and start over. These were planted last fall, and bloomed unusually well for first-year plants.





irises1I’m fortunate to have taken these pics yesterday, before the skies dumped over 3 inches of rain last evening. I’d hate to see what these heavy blooms look like this morning. I’ve already had some sad texts from Mom referencing her “poor bedraggled” babies. LOL





irises3I love the names of some of these fancy iris varieties. So do the kids. Names like “Circus Circus”, “Supreme Sultan”, “Bewilderbeast” and “Broad Shoulders” do also remind me in various ways of a certain someone.




irises4Yes, the glorious spring is here. Some of these blooms, especially the lavender blue one, are enormous. “Sea Power” here is as large as my 4-year-old daughter’s head. I wish I’d thought to take her picture as she inhaled the lovely fragrance.

Mom can name every one of the 194 (yes, you read that right) varieties she planted last fall, and she loves to talk irises at any time of day or night. Anyway, I do hope you enjoy the pics as much as we were (prior to the downpour) enjoying the blooms themselves.

Aren’t irises lovely?




  1. June · May 6, 2015

    Yes, they are very beautiful. Your mom has mad skills as a gardener! I have a few in my garden. The human ones are gorgeous ❤


    • jholland · May 6, 2015

      She does have mad skills! She quilts all winter and gardens in the spring, summer and fall. And yes, those particular human irises are mesmerizing. =)


  2. Guylty · May 6, 2015

    They are so beautiful!!! And I like the way you have tied them into the preoccupation of your blog 😉


    • jholland · May 6, 2015

      LOL. I couldn’t help but think of RA when I heard some of those names. “Bewilderbeast” especially. That beautiful beast has had me bewildered at myself for the longest time. =)-

      Liked by 1 person

  3. obscura · May 6, 2015

    Gorgeous…my mom always had purple, gold and yellow – a few still come up from the ancient bulbs. Your mom’s array is magnificent!!


    • Perry · May 6, 2015

      Gorgeous. Irises ( and lilacs and hydrangeas) are my favorite flowers. Bearded irises ( as those are) were what inspired me to start painting years ago. I like all of them, but the traditional dark purple best. Great connection to Armitage.

      On Wed, May 6, 2015 at 1:00 PM, preoccupiedwitharmitage wrote:

      > obscura commented: “Gorgeous…my mom always had purple, gold and > yellow – a few still come up from the ancient bulbs. Your mom’s array is > magnificent!!”


      • jholland · May 6, 2015

        I love all of the above, with the addition of peonies and clematis. Mom has a green thumb and has all these in multiple varieties, but her true obsession is the iris. I love the dark purples, too, and she even has some that are so deep they’re almost black. They don’t photograph well, though. I wish I had the patience for gardening. I enjoy the flowers, but never the weeding. =)

        Liked by 2 people

        • Perry · May 7, 2015

          I’m struggling with own small garden here in Mexico. Plants seem to fry. I also love peonies – such a short season.

          Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · May 6, 2015

      I love her gardens. I wish I had photos of the tulips and daffodils which were out in April. They’re in the same bed as the irises, but emerge earlier and they were wildly successful, too. Here are just a few from an Easter arrangement she did:

      Liked by 1 person

  4. MargotMat · May 6, 2015

    Those iris are indeed gorgeous! They need a lot of water but certainly not strong showers.
    I remember seing them bloom in whole fields in Ireland, as well as wild rhododendrons. 🙂


  5. Helen · May 7, 2015

    Beautiful! I had no idea there were that many varieties. Love the apricot ones 🙂

    RAs irises are particularly lovely because of the dark ring around the outside… Many people with light eyes don’t have that. I could drown in them…


    • jholland · May 7, 2015

      Maybe that’s it, the ring around his irises. They are so gorgeous. And his eyes just speak a language all their own. Sigh. Drowning, yes. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. linnetmoss · May 7, 2015

    Stunning. I can tell he is often on your mind so that you make these connections. I am the same way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hariclea · May 7, 2015

    The flowers are incredible! She’s an artist with flowers your mum 🙂 i love the look of them even if the fragrance of them is not my thing (my nose is very picky) Her garden must be stunning. Love daffodils and lilac but freesias are my favourites 🙂
    The other irises are as beautiful to look at i love their stormy slightly changing colour and framed by those unfairly long lashes. . Hmmm 🙂 what a post filled with loveliness


    • jholland · May 8, 2015

      Interesting! Do you not like iris fragrance, or all flower fragrance?


      • Hariclea · May 9, 2015

        oh i like some flowers 🙂 i love perfume and fragrances in general but my nose is picky it seems, a lot of stuff can give me headaches or turns my stomach. I prefer fruity and bitter fragrances, fresh and not heavy. I do like spicy though like black pepper. Of lowers i love freesia and lily of the valley most 🙂 Rose is too sweet for me and i dislike sweet and cloying smells most of all. I love flowers in general, but i prefer them in the garden, if they are inside many smells are too strong for me to have them around 🙂


  8. Servetus · May 8, 2015

    Something so subtly but ineluctably sexual about irises. They scream “let’s reproduce! or die in the attempt!”


    • jholland · May 8, 2015

      Oh, yes. In so many ways. Thinking of Georgia O’Keefe’s many gloriously sensual iris paintings. (I grew up in New Mexico, constantly surrounded by O’Keefe paintings and prints in so many establishments!)


  9. Helen · May 18, 2015

    I just came across this (it’s the Chelsea Flower Show in London, so everyone’s talking flowers at the moment!) and I thought your mum must have some of the missing Benton irises! (Let me know if the link doesn’t work and I’ll find another way to send it).


    • jholland · May 18, 2015

      Thanks, Helen… how interesting! I wouldn’t be surprised if Mom didn’t have some of those Benton iris genetics in her huge collection. She is a faithful customer of Schreiner’s Iris Gardens who have been in business here in the U.S. since 1925 and much of their original stock was reportedly imported from Europe. She’ll love this article… thanks for sharing! I’ll pass it along. Next I know she’ll be into iris geneology… lol.


      • Helen · May 19, 2015

        Wouldn’t it be great if she could provide some of the missing varieties!

        It’s getting me interested in growing some of the different ones too, because I just discovered I have a place in my garden they seem to love (not easy when you live by the North Sea in England, with salty winds straight from the North Pole 😉 )


        • jholland · May 19, 2015

          That’s awesome that they have a happy spot! Such a hardy flower, for all that it’s big and blowsy! BTW- Mom was really excited about the article and if they’d given an email address would have contacted the lady. She didn’t really want to call her (phone-phobic!)


        • Helen · May 21, 2015

          Yes, I figured she might just like to make a connection as she obviously has lots of knowledge. Howard Nurseries is the place that grows up her varieties for sale, I believe.


  10. Helen · May 20, 2015

    I tried to get an email address for you and got this reply… I may have to go down to Howard Nurseries! 🙂

    Even if she doesn’t have an Bentons she might like to establish contact 😉

    Thank you for your enquiry. Sarah is obviously very busy with the Chelsea
    Flower Show this week. The best thing to do would be for her to email the
    details of the Irises which she thinks are Cedric Morris’ Benton Irises to and we can pass the details on to her once she
    has some more time.

    Kind Regards,
    Matthew Everett

    Howard Nurseries Ltd.
    Wortham, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 1PX
    Tel: 01379 898529


    • jholland · May 20, 2015

      Thanks, Helen. I don’t know that she actually thinks she has the missing links, but she was still interested in the topic, so I’ll pass this along! =)


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