What a wonderful May! For the first time in maybe ten years I’ve got a stellar flowering of iris. Every spring the buds would be forming and then it would freeze hard enough in vicious late April to turn their buds into what I disgustedly call “corpsicles.”
I feel so heartily happy about the exceptional display of my iris this year because for a great long while those exquisite flowers/plants provided my livelihood. For fifteen years, as noted elsewhere, I was the Iris Man at the Santa Fe Farmers Market (1997-2012), and these amazing blooms bring back fond memories of the indescribable varieties I sold and the beautiful gardens I worked in. Driving around town now, I admire iris beds I planted long ago and rejoice in how well they grow.
Well, the Iris Man is back! This year, while the days often got unseasonably warm, it stayed quite cold at night, and I guess that held the rhizomes back a bit. Also we didn’t get our usual late freeze. When those enthusiastic bloom stalks started emerging from the fans of leaves, I was on pins and needles watching the weather. Then each day became a new thrill with the opening of another variety. They should last another week.
Here are several of my prize varieties with their names—if I know. Could somebody please identify the unknowns for me. (Use the comment doohickey below.) I haven’t included the more common yellows, reds, or pinks, though they are all equally gorgeous, if you know what I mean. I was sad that two of my favorites didn’t make it to flower this year: Loud Music and Heartbreak Hotel. Maybe next year.