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)

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.