A Cherokee Gardner’s Journal: The Iris Report

by Jun 18, 2018COMMUNITY sgadugi


By Jody Bradley Lipscomb


Every morning, from mid-April to late May, mom calls at seven in the morning (sometimes earlier). My dear mother gives me her garden Iris Report.  She’s walking and admiring the vast array of iris that bloom in her garden.  She goes into detail about the standards, the beards, and the falls.  Standards are the part of the iris that point upward.  Falls curl downward and the beards are the fuzzy part in the center of the falls.

Every day, she reports the different color combinations.  Each day she finds a new favorite and her favorite changes depending on what is blooming in her garden.

My mother’s love of iris goes back to Aunt Leola and Uncle George Burgess’s beautiful iris patch on Bradley Loop. They were not really our aunt and uncle, just terms of endearment.  They grew an inspiring grouping that was the best I have ever seen.  Leola and Mom stood in the road and talked forever, admiring the varieties and combinations.  It seemed George did all the work while they visited.  A beautiful, deep purple standard with a white fall and beard was my favorite.

Bea Smith, another neighbor, had an exceptional collection my mother greatly admired. Mom would call wanting me to see Bea’s iris garden.  My mom was thrilled the day Bea divided her patch and gave some plants to Mom.  That made her very happy.

My mom is an iris collector.  She is not above bartering or begging.  I contribute to her collection with Ebay, Amazon, and catalogs.  I search for varieties she doesn’t have.  It’s an addiction, but what a beautiful addiction!

I will continue to get the Iris Reports until the season is over.  She will move the plants around for maximum potential.  If you’d like to make a iris donation let me know.  She is collecting yellow iris now.

Last week, my mom was worried about who would take care of her iris when she was gone…it’s me mom!  I will give the Iris Report.