Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I love irises. Their colors are always so vibrant and the shapes on some of the more delicate varieties remind me of orchids. I remember driving my MG along Routes 11 and 42 in the Shenandoah Valley (ca. 1988), spying clumps of daffodil and iris springing up in empty fields and forest clearings. In the spring I'd grab a Virginia map and head off down the narrow side roads of Rockingham and Shenandoah counties looking for these blooming reminders of homes and villages long gone. Sometimes the iris and daffodil blooms would surround a foundation or the crumbling remains of a stone chimney. On fortunate occasions the blooms would reveal a family cemetery of early- to mid-19th century stones. And then within a few weeks the flowers would be gone, reduced to withered stalks by the summer heat, quickly disappearing under the assault of weeds, poison ivy, and kudzu. (I shot these images in the walled garden of St. Luke in the Fields on Hudson Street.)

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jblack designs said...

Me, too! Me, too! I love the floral remains of missing or crumbling homes--foundations or even just steps to no where. And Iris--a dream flower.

Do you know about the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, TX? They were started by "rose rustlers," who took cuttings from hardy, antique, and heirloom roses in old cemetaries and abandoned homesites. Most have been identified over the years, but some are still unknown. But beautiful.

It's an amazing place to visit: http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/

One Wink at a Time said...

I've only ever been to Shenandoah in the fall and it's one of my favorite places.
*picturing you in an MG, all cool* :-)
I love irises too, they remind me of dancing Southern Belles.
And the fragrance... mmmm.