The first iris of spring

One lovely thing the former owner of this house left us was a bed full of irises in the backyard. Like all the plants in the house, she wasn’t able to tend to them much her last few years, and we’ve been fairly indifferent gardeners since then, so any plants that have survived have had to be pretty self-sufficient.

Apparently irises are less delicate than one might think. Because we’ve pretty much let them grow wild, occasionally weeding the bermuda grass that grows among them, but even that not as often as we ought. Yet every year, the buds pop up on their long stalks–more in wetter years, fewer in dryer years–waiting to bloom.

This morning, I stepped outside, and found a bright white flower amid the green stems. Then, hidden behind a pillar, a second. And dozens more buds around them, ready to follow in turn.

Irises, the scent of orange blossoms in the air–it really is spring.

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