Monday, June 6, 2016

Old Friends

Lemon-yellow Iris
Iris flavescens

I rescued these antique irises from an abandoned farmhouse in Sebago that was being demolished and leveled. That was in 1992. And this is the sixth home I've brought them to - leaving a trail of beautiful, lemon-scented beauty behind me :) I can't imagine a spring without their pale and pretty splendor any more, and I'm thrilled to see them thriving wonderfully here after having been transplanted last fall - they've grown happily everywhere I've planted them. They're called Lemon-yellow Irises (Iris flavescens) and were first developed in 1830. I'm not the only one who's found them forgotten - Lauren Springer in Passionate Gardening tells of collecting them from an abandoned homesite and writes, “Perhaps someday they will be all that remain of my house and garden.”

Photo by Becky Robbins.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow Flag Iris
Iris pseudacorus

These Yellow Flag Irises (iris pseudacorus) are growing in the little drainage pond behind our house. This is a non-native ornamental iris that's escaped cultivation and invaded wetlands all over North America, choking out native plants including the cattails - an important species for many wetland animals. Yellow Flag have been banned in some states, including Massachusetts, because they're so difficult to eradicate once they take hold. But the plants are still widely available to purchase for gardens. Native to Europe, Great Britain, North Africa and the Mediterranean region, these hardy escapees can now be found growing wild throughout most of the US and Canada. They truly are beautiful, though, and brighten up the little frog pond nicely. There's no marshes around here so I don't think there's much threat of spreading, but I'll keep an eye out.