• Denise Walden

Iris Eyes Are Smiling


I watch with delight as the striking irises burst open in the surrounding gardens this spring. Iris is the modern symbol of communication and messages. I smile as I imagine the flower's namesake, the beautiful Greek goddess, Iris. Golden-winged and iridescent robes of a thousand varying colors flowing behind, she travels the rainbow bridge from heaven to earth. It is Iris' task to carry messages from the immortal to the mortal. She is the guide and companion for female souls on their journey to heaven.


My grandmother comes to mind. I remember dad's stories of his mother's beautiful purple, old fashioned, garden iris. Although I have no memory of her, it's the iris flower I picture when I think of her. Flowers, whether in my imagination, a garden or in my floral designs, are my way of connecting to others. I've planted the iris in my garden in her memory.


As a planting, irises are generally easy to care for. I've found that the Siberian Iris to be incredibly hearty and dependable year after year. Once the bloom is gone, I'll get around to dividing the rhizomes in late summer and spread them out accenting other beds. A task for another day.


When designing floral arrangements, I love the vibrant blues and purples of this magnificent flower. Either standing alone in a bud vase of one or two blooms, or as a gorgeous accent to a multi-floral arrangement. Two varieties are common in my floral shop - the dark Iris Blue Telstar and the light blue Iris Hildegarde. I feel both are a sort of an ephemeral flower, as their vase life is short, but there is no substitute for the form and color of the beautiful iris.

Recently I visited my son and daughter-in-law's home. While there, my two grandchildren proudly introduced me to their own garden. They share the same knowledge and love for the garden as their parents. I beamed as they introduced me to their new garden members. Merry pink geraniums, happy yellow marigolds, velvety, violet violas, stalks of sunny snapdragons, and Solomon's seal were among the elements comprising the design. A charming reclaimed 15" concrete statue of a long haired maiden carrying sparkly faerie treasures placed in her basket accented the composition. How wonderful to see their enthusiasm!


I stepped back and took in the site of the entire precious garden. There, in the center, rising above the whole garden stood one exquisite, old fashioned purple iris. It had been planted in this bed long before the family moved into the house and the kids took to tending the little plot. My heart smiled with the thought of their great, great grandmother's iris seemingly to appear in their flower bed.


Thank you, Iris, for connecting these five generations with your message of faith, hope and wisdom. And, of course, love.


Flowers for Life. May you grow and bloom.

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