An iris story, be continued

Jim McKenney
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 16:06:06 PDT
Back in 1963 or so I bought a couple of dozen bulbs of Iris reticulata (the original purple flowered one). Some of these I planted in the garden, some I planted in several places in the adjacent parkland. Among those in the parkland, some were planted on a high bank of the creek. This was fifty years ago.Over the years the ones in the garden disappeared; of those in the parkland, most also disappeared. The ones on the high bank were lost when that bank collapsed in a storm and was washed away. One lot had been planted at the base of a huge black oak growing in the park just back of the garden. This lot persisted longer than any of the others, and was still blooming some years ago. Then the plants seemed to go into a minor decline: they reappeared yearly but did not bloom. I began to fertilize them a bit each year after that, and eventually there were three slowly thriving clumps, one of which I expected to bloom last year. Many of the black oaks in our neighborhood are dying now. As luck would have it, the oak under which the irises grew died and quickly went down in a big storm. Luckily it fell away from the garden, but when it fell it took up a disk of soil two or three yards in diameter which contained some of the surviving irises.The irises did not reappear on the disk, and I thought that was the end of them. A few days ago I carefully searched the site to see if any of the irises still grew in the general area. Yea! One does. For years I had resisted the temptation to bring some of the surviving irises back into the garden. Who would have thought that the oak would have died and in falling wrench the iris site away from the surrounding ground? What could go wrong next?I'm so tempted to dig the surviving bulb.
Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where more recently acquired reticulate irises are coming into bloom. 
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