Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Friendship flower

That would be the iris, and this photo is of the Carol Ann Moyer Iris Garden, now in full bloom at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown. (Photo by Mary Boyle, of DelVal)

Friendship flower

Mary Boyle, Delaware Valley College

That would be the iris, and this photo is of the Carol Ann Moyer Iris Garden, now in full bloom at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown. (Photo by Mary Boyle, of DelVal)

Moyer is a retired science teacher, master gardener and iris champion. She designed and planted this circular, 80-foot-diameter garden (with help from her husband and son) back in 2007 to hold 11,000 irises. It's beautiful today.

Often called "flags" or "friendship flowers," irises are blooming all over the region. My favorites are the fragrant bearded varieties. Their scent wafts over the fence from my garden, stopping passersby.

The friendship comes in every fall, when it's time to divide and share the rhizomes. It's easily done and very satisfying, to bring bags of lumpy rhizomes topped by sword-shaped foliage into the office to give away.

Irises are really easy to grow. As you can see from Carol Ann's garden, they like sun. And unlike their ancestors, the modern iris has more buds per stalk, longer-lasting blooms and firm flowers.

A joy to behold. Or smell. Or cut.

  

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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