Iris come in all variety of colors and so it is fitting that this loveliest of flowers is named after a Greek goddess who in lore is the personification of a rainbow. 'Jesse's Song' was the first iris to open this year. Readers of this blog know how much I love this iris; it's gorgeous, it's vigorous, even has a little sweet fragrance, a goddess in flower form.
Lately the words from 'Over the Rainbow' has been running through my mind. As in somewhere over the rainbow, I will have a lower maintenance garden. In case you think I'm a lazy slob who just leaves weeds, most of the Lamium (along with great handfuls of chickweed) are coming out as it yellows and the bees lose interest. My plan is and has been to have more Baptisias and woody plants in the lower gardens, but the wheels turn slowly. Rooted cuttings of Black Highbush Blueberry are waiting in the wings to go into the ground this fall (one of them even has a few bell-shaped flowers this year) and I took more cuttings earlier this month. A year and half turnaround but well worth the wait. I'd like to try some of the cultured Highbush and Rabbiteye Blueberries too, but I am very enamoured of this wild plant with its tiny sweet fruit and spectacular fall color. I was happy to see that the new Virginia Sweetspires survived last year's brutally hot dry summer. They were rooted from Sweetspires that grow wild here and whose fall color is like that of 'Saturnalia': brilliant colors shadowed by a very dark moody purple. I plan to take Winterberry and Buttonbush cuttings too. I want a limbed up Buttonbush like the one at the NC Botanical Garden.
I confess that my favorite version of 'Over the Rainbow' is from the movie The Wizard of Oz, but I love Eva Cassidy's version too. Her voice stands out from the rest by virtue of its sheer beauty and range.