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I didn’t always love Irises. I spent most of my life hardly noticing them. I thought of myself as more of a Peony kind of person. Now, I can hardly take my eyes off of them, the bearded kind, that is.

I guess they first caught my eye when they came with a plot I had in a community garden, a massive community garden in the San Fernando Valley. I gardened the plot with my mom. When we could no longer commit to taking care of the space and decided to leave, I dug up a few tubers that produced a frilly, peach flower. This one to be exact.


And that was the beginning. I have just a few other varieties in my beds, all taken as others divided up their tuber mats. They are not the showiest of them all, but I love them just the same. Here is one of them:


Then, here is what happened. After a couple of years of watching my Irises blooming every spring, I started noticing other people’s Irises; The ones that emerge in the front yard of the house just before the stop sign; The ones that have come up in the garden plot a few plots down from mine; The ones I spy at our local botanical garden….

For me words cannot describe these exquisite flowers, so I took some photos.






These showy flowers are beautiful and drought tolerant, which makes them perfect for a Southern California garden. Once they are established they really take care of themselves. I have a few bunches that only get the water that falls from the sky, and they do just a well as those located near irrigation.

Last fall I bought my first Iris, called Chenille. It hasn’t given me a flower yet. I am crossing my fingers I don’t have to wait until next spring to remember what it looks like.