Mother's Blue Flag Irises
I received on my cell phone the other day, a beautiful picture of violet Irises. My oldest son and companion took the picture and sent a message saying they were thinking about me and my mother and they love and miss us. I was moved by the jester. My mother is long gone, but her spirit remains in many ways and the Iris is one of them, especially her favorite, the Blue Flag Irises.
Planting of the Iris
Use to, when my mother was alive, I would glean from her garden, flowers to transplant into mine. It was always a way of keeping my parents near me when I lived far away. Irises were always the first choice and often the first plant to move to any of my new gardens. My mother’s favorite was always the blue flags, usually darker in the blue than the violet, both carrying the yellow hairy centers, know as the German Bearded variety.
Irises are one of the easiest plants to grow and transplant. As rhizomes, and tubular root, they easily come up out of the ground and planting is made simple by placing in ground and barely covering the root. Can transplant in spring or fall, but generally the plant need a full year in the ground before flowers will appear in abundance
There are over 170 varieties with many colors, though the violet to blue violet are the most common found in the wild. These beautiful hardy plants grow all across our world! Today the Iris has been labeled with many characteristics and has manifested into a sacred symbol for many cultures.
Sign Of The Iris
Iris flower began her recognition when the Greek goddess named “Iris” was unfolded into the Greek mythology. Iris was a messenger of the gods, traveling from the heavens to the earth on rainbows! According to Hesiod theology, this goddess carries a winged staff and totes a ewer of water from the river Styx. She puts to sleep those who perjure themselves, and supplies the water for the clouds.
As cultures rose and fell, the Iris still remained a powerful symbol. In India and Egypt, they used the Iris in their artwork to represent the life and resurrection. The Egyptians saw the Iris as a symbol of elegance and power.
Christian View And Other Symbols
Early Christianity, as they overshadowed the Pagan way of life, soon associated the flower with the Virgin Mary. The Roman Church soon received the Iris as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. These beauties have three main petals that curl out and three smaller petals that fold in. The three petals came to be Faith, Wisdom and Valor and created as a symbol for royalty and divine protection.
Not only is the regal plant the Tennessee State flower and a popular subject of the artist Van Gogh, but today her silhouette is a symbol still active in many ways. The symbol can be found on the Quebec flag, Saint Louis flag and the logo for the New Orleans Saints football team. In the color red, the Iris is the coat of arms for Florence Italy, known as the flue-de-lis. As yellow, it is the symbol for Brussels. Not only has Kappa Kappa Gama adopt the symbol, but around the world it is known as the symbol for Scouting.
The ancients first recognized the plant as a healer, and today it is used in medicine, but by large it is the perfume industries that reap the best out of the gorgeous Iris. It takes five to six years for the roots to process into what the industry knows as “Iris butter”, busting with powerful aroma!
Learning all this about the flower, I come to understand why my mother was so attracted to these beauties. Not only is the Iris a young maiden with wings, but a communicator, a messenger and a spirit belonging and mastering the rainbows. These flowers stand tall and majestic in any garden or even in the wild.
When springtime unfolds her beauties, I often think of my mother with those Blue Flag Irises. I can not help but think the goddess Iris, is sending over the rainbows, messages from my mother. A beautiful way to say hello!