Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's in a Name (of an iris)?

Those of us who grow iris want varieties that appeal to us visually. One might say that's the whole point. But they all have names, and those names can have an appeal all their own. Or, conversely, they can be a big turn-off.

Most of the iris in my garden have names that mean something to me, however obliquely. A good example of this is the very small order I put in (to BlueJ Iris) yesterday. I hadn't planned to order this year, and was pretty determined to stick to that. But then I noticed some room in the front of one bed that the shorter Intermediate Beardeds would fill so nicely. And then I started thinking about other reasons to add to my iris collection.....

I ordered Terryton to honor my dear cousin Terry, whom we lost late last year. The name reminds me of her, of course, but so does the coloring. Terry was a strawberry blonde.

Crazy For You is for my 16-year-old dog, Angel. Again, not only the name, but the liberal use of grey in the coloration, as Angel is a grey Briard mix.

Sings So Softly for my daughter Gillian, who died on Memorial Day eight years ago. I have many irises named for Jill.

Stairway to Heaven for her Husky-Shepherd, Wolfy, who will join his beloved owner at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Bedtime Story for this story, which brought me a much-needed check this year and which people (amazingly) still continue to read.

Thunder Spirit for another dog. His name was Thunder, and he was my first German Shepherd. Gone more than 30 years ago now, but never forgotten.

Good and True is for all the positive things in my life.

Yes, you might say that I slipped off the wagon by placing this order. But I don't feel the regret I remember from my days of eating Sara Lee brownies (a very long time ago!). I woke up this morning happy that these will grow in my garden.

6 comments:

Dona said...

I had no idea that there were so many varieties of iris. Your ordering convention makes perfect sense to me.

Indigo Bunting said...

I am happy too! And so much better for you than Sara Lee...

Lovely tributes.

crystal said...

The Sing So Softly one is so pretty! That's a good idea to link the flowers with those you love. I'm such a black-thumb gardener that it would like putting a curse on them, though :)

Susan said...

Well, you know what, Crystal? I happened upon an iris called Kermit. I don't know if Tall Bearded Iris grow in California, though. You could find out.....

Dona and IB, thanks for reading. If the growing season goes well, I'll be back with my own photos of these seven next spring. But of course I see you before then. :-)

Mali said...

Irises are one of my favourite flowers. Lovely.

Eulalia (Lali) said...

A moving, beautiful post!