Iris was never my favorite garden flower. This should be admitted right away because I know many people love iris whether in perfume or in flower form, and the taste for them has been a long time coming in this case.
My mother who was a better gardener than I am, always adored iris and always had them in some form or other in her garden beds. In Vermont I remember Siberian irises being her choice probably because of their hardiness. I found that the old bearded Iris germanica* grew like topsy in the cold little town we inhabited. I inherited three big clumps of it which had to be divided, and I did a very clumsy job of hacking the rhizomes ( what is the difference between a root and a rhizome? See illustration) and then dropping (!), some around the yard where they actually took root and thrived. I was literally lousy with iris. Continue reading