Post-office Iris

Judy Glattstein
Mon, 10 May 2004 08:06:54 PDT
There is a small post office in Baptisttown. Small enough, in fact, that it
closes between noon and 1:00 p.m. so the postmistress may have her lunch
undisturbed. The previous postmaster was apparently something of a gardener.
And when I was there today I found two bearded iris in bloom. One clump has
off-white flowers. And there were three clumps of a light blue-violet iris,
with that delicious "iris" fragrance I remember from my childhood.

The flowers are smaller than modern cultivars, with a yellow beard fading to
white where it is more exposed. The scapes are close to 4 feet tall, with
four flowers/ buds on a scape. (But they're growing in coarse grass and
poison ivy, not much tending in the last 8 or 10 years.)

A young man stopping to pick up his mail had a shovel in the back of his
pick-up, I had a plastic bag, and the postmistress said to go for it (I
think she'll take a some for her own garden.) I know, late June/ July would
have been better but the time to take a plant is when you find it. So this
will stress the plant, but bearded iris are tough. The half-clump I took
will recover.

I find that in general, it appears to be the blue range of bearded iris that
are more fragrant than other colors. And color is what catalogs focus on. So
my question is this: is there any list of fragrant cultivars? Does anyone
here have any bearded iris with that delicious floral or grape scent, or
sometimes like violets? Would you swap for something I might be growing?

Judy, in a nostalgic mood with the blue flag iris of yesterday.

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