In classical legends she traveled the rainbow down to
earth to deliver messages from the gods.
There is a tradition in Greece to plant purple iris
on the graves of women to summon the goddess to
guide the soul of the deceased individual to her heavenly home.
Irises, popular garden flowers,
take their name from this Greek goddess
because of the variety of colors
found within the species.
The fleur-de-lys, modeled in the shape of an iris,
and used by the kings of France as their royal emblem,
has been a symbol of France for centuries.
Digital Image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program
Irises, by Van Gogh, was painted in
1889 while at the asylum in Saint-Rémy, France.
One of the first paintings Van Gogh painted
while a patient there, his brother, Theo, immediately
recognized its quality and submitted it to the
Salon des Indépendants in September 1889.
Today this painting is in the permanent collection of the
J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
Iris are perennials
that grow from rhizomes.
My iris are mostly "pass along plants" from friends.
I grew up in a family of gardeners,
and it was common practice with my mother
and aunts and their mother before them to divide plants
growing in their gardens and share them with friends
and family who then planted them in their own gardens.
I rather like the tradition!
Beautiful as they are,
cut iris only last a couple of days.