In Greek mythology, Iris is one of the messengers of the gods, though less well known for this attribute than her masculine counterpart Hermes/Mercury. She is more commonly known as the goddess of the rainbow — all the beautiful colors of the rainbow.
Once again, we haven’t a lot to say about Ray’s Garden — just a collection of photos of the plants that have been bringing us joy lately. Hope you enjoy them,too.
“Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest,
Who, armed with golden rod
And winged with the celestial azure, bearest
The message of some God.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Iris
“Since Iris is the Greek goddess for the Messenger of Love, her sacred flower is considered the symbol of communication and messages. Greek men would often plant an iris on the graves of their beloved women as a tribute to the goddess Iris, whose duty it was to take the souls of women to the Elysian fields.”
– Hana No Monogatari: The Stories of Flowers
As usual, we have no names for each particular variety here — since most Iris home-growers trade for colors rather than name. [Oh, I don’t have that shade of blue. Maybe when you thin them out I could have one? I have a particularly gorgeous bronze I’ll trade you…..]
When I first moved to Sonoma County years ago I met an older woman whose Iris garden was the talk of the town. On hearing that I was just starting my garden in a new home she offered me a few rhizomes when she thinned out the next day. “Just come on by and I’ll give you a few.” I went home that next day with three large shipping boxes filled with Iris! It took me a week working full time to get them all into the ground.
One more photo … This little guy does not have a particularly large or showy blossom– though it is a lovely color. It is most interesting for its wonderfully striped leaves.