Some of my most beautiful flowers are rescue plants. Irises are so hardy and prolific that most gardeners want to get rid of theirs.
An innocuous looking shoot of a dwarf iris was one of the last remaining plants at a church garage sale. It looked like it was heading for the compost pile. I nabbed it and now it’s blooming in my and most of my friends’ gardens: its spectacular blue glow can be seen throughout Edmonton.
This rescue fern-leaf peony has thrived in my garden. I dug it out from a yard that was getting demolished and didn’t expect it to survive. It looked too delicate and exotic. This one is growing right by the sidewalk, it’s fun to see people stopping to take pictures of it almost every day. This is not a flower that minds being seen. Maybe it’s grateful that I saved it from the dumpster.
These irises have a mysterious habit of changing hues. When the flower emerges in the spring it’s almost black, in mid life it becomes violet and turns pink-purple in old age. As it begins to die it darkens into a black-violet again.
It’s not uncommon for flowers to bleach in the sun but this iris is in a league of its own, and each stage brings some of the most beautiful purple hues I have ever seen.
The crabapple tree was pruned last year and now it’s snowing pink petals all through the garden. They stick to my shoes and, despite efforts to clean up, I find the petals in odd corners of the house.
It’s a wonderful problem to have after one of the longest winters ever. The pandemic is finally subsiding in Alberta and hopefully those forlorn lawn chairs in the back of the garden will soon be filled with friends.