Mary Sue, in reporting her joy over the re-blooming of Calochortus weedii (ant that's a stunningly beautiful species, Mary Sue) has touched on something to which all of us as gardeners can relate. When we buy a bulb and it goes on to bloom, that's nice. But when we grow one from seed and it blooms, that engenders a completely different level of satisfaction. And when we buy a bulb, watch it go into decline, but then eventually reverse itself and bloom - well, that too provides a very special sense of satisfaction. I had that experience this year when a plant of the xiphium hybrid iris 'Bronze Beauty' bloomed. This is a readily available plant, and inexpensive, too. But these so-called Dutch iris are never common in our gardens here in the middle Atlantic states. They must be planted by the hundreds of thousands each year, but they have never become common garden plants. And it's not hard to point to a probable reason: they need hot, dry summers. The heat we can provide in spades, but dry summers are not our style. Dutch iris left in the ground year after year tend to "disappear". In my experience, those which don't disappear and show up again typically don't bloom. In an effort to test the "they need dry hot summers" hypothesis, several years ago I planted a dozen bulbs of 'Bronze Beauty' in a raised bed. The following spring I got a nasty surprise: only one or two of them had survived the winter. Winter hardiness of bulbs planted in the ground has never been an issue here. But plants of any kind in raised beds are often a gamble here during the winter. For instance, very few of a handful of Crocus korolkowii survived that same winter in that same bed. Since so few of them survived the winter, and those which did did not go on to bloom, I more or less forgot about those iris. This raised bed is covered from late May until September. During the summer, because the glass is only six or so inches above the soil, it gets hot under the glass, sometimes hot enough to kill the weeds. Now fast forward a few years. After not having seen any trace of the iris for several years, I spotted a bit of distinct color in that bed this year. There was a plant of Iris 'Bronze Beauty' in full bloom! That plant of 'Bronze Beauty' is mine as no newly purchased bulb will ever be. I earned it. There is every reason to think that it's now here to stay, or at least as much so as anything else in the garden. I've learned how to grow it, and in the garden of life knowledge is the most beautiful bloom of all! Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where it cooled off last night enough to prompt us to turn off the air conditioning and open the windows - and let in the scent of the lilies.