Eight years ago, I was visiting a friend. This friend was in the middle of making over her garden. She was taking her small garden from a rather plain, flat garden to an altogether different place. There was decking, water features, stone clad raised beds and newly created slopes. It seriously looked different. As part of this makeover the existing plants were culled. My visit coincided with the irises being dug up and, not sure how, being slung into the back of my car.
My garden was underdeveloped. At that point, I had concentrated on the kitchen garden, so the rest was still grass, and odd shrubs.
The first time the man came to empty the septic tank, he summed up our garden perfectly. As he emptied the tank, he peered down into it and then, without looking up, asked me if old people had lived in the house before us.
Curious to know why he asked the question, I too peered down into the tank and said yes. I don’t know what I expected to see in the tank, but there were no sets of false teeth or bottles of dubious perfume.
The man straighted up and scanned the garden. Yes, he thought so. Low maintenance garden. I have since decided that this is what passes for local humour.
It was easy to find a spot in our “low maintenance garden” for the irises. When I picked up the irises they were not in flower and somehow I came away with the idea that they were bluey-mauve. I popped them in a new flower bed I was making and pretty much forgot about them. I hoped the blue would contrast nicely with the red hollyhocks and poppies I was planting at the same time.
Every year they sent up long spiky leaves, but no flowers. Until this week. The hollyhocks and poppies had turned the flower bed into a fiery red affair, each year. The blue-mauve irises would have tamed it, but they were missing. Then this year, that’s eight years later, the irises budded up. We waited, not quite with baited breathe, for the grand opening. Eight years and I find I have yellow irises. It hasn’t dulled the flower bed. No the irises have just joined in the riotous party.
Oh well. So they are now my slow flowering, yellow irises. They brighten the day, so I think they were worth the wait.