I am so proud of these irises. The plants were bought from the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2008. It was the first time we had been to a big flower show like that and I was overwhelmed by the choice and variety of plants available. As I wandered round the specialised nurseries I found it near impossible to choose which plants to buy. Two irises caught my eye, this one, and one which looked like its opposite, with purple centres and white edges.
I took them home, I lovingly planted them, and then I watched and waited. And waited, and waited.
Last year they looked half dead, and at times it seemed touch and go whether they would even survive. We supposedly have near perfect soil type and conditions, with our chalky soil being reliably alkaline and well drained, with British rainfall to keep it watered. As if to compound this, someone in a neighbouring allotment has a whole field of irises which do brilliantly well.
Just a month ago, this is what it looked like, with a load of manure on in the hope it might do better this year. You can just about see its partner, buried under manure next to it.
Then a few weeks ago, this:
You can imagine my reaction when I saw that it had actually flowered. Despite a month with very little rainfall, they have flowered prolifically. I've got three vases round the house already, pairing them off with some bamboo from our new garden.
Yet again, patience and a touch of neglect works wonders in the garden.