Sunday, November 30, 2008

garden in waiting

Today I planted about a hundred tall bearded irises in the middle of our yard...

... after weeks and weeks of talking about needing to get them into the ground soon. Before frost. Before Thanksgiving. Well, it's after Thanksgiving by two days, but we haven't had anything even remotely resembling frost. In fact, today it was something like 70 degrees. There should be snow. Or rain. Or at least frost. But we are walking around in shirt sleeves and sweat is dripping into my eyes while I turn the soil. But at least the irises are now, finally, in the ground, and I can forget about them until Spring. Or until they send up some leaves, which are noticeably missing because the rhizomes I dug in the summer have been sitting in a tray on top of the wood bin, their roots stiffening beyond any ability to bend, the neatly v-trimmed leaves withering to crisp nothings. But I have faith that they will return.

The only reason they were out of the ground in the first place was because we had to install new leach lines and I had to dig up the quite-established garden, which meant that lavender and daisies and lots of day lilies went into containers, and the iris got tossed in a pile. I've been diligently watering containers for months, keeping everything alive. But I couldn't put the iris rhizomes back into the ground until I got the soil turned, and compost spread, and established the shape of the little path that wanders across the middle.

Eight bags of compost and a few backaches later, they are finally replanted and so far, the cats have not dug up any of the rhizomes. Right now, it may look like just a bunch of brown dirt and a path, but in my mind I see lots of lush green leaves, cats stalking bugs among the day lilies, and a colorful array of iris blooms bordered by wild violets.

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