The iris is a flower whose history extends far back in time.
|Purple bearded iris|
It is possible that the lilies of the fields, which the bible asks us to consider, were in fact iris rather than lilies. The iris has been known for at least two thousand years and the flower has inspired artists and poets alike. Much loved by Monet at Giverny, blue irises were a favourite subject for Van Gogh.
|White bearded iris|
The plant is very adaptable and there are types that grow in conditions ranging from deep dry shade, even growing underneath trees (iris foetidissima) to full sun (the blowsy bearded variety). Where would spring be without the delicate iris reticulata and early summer without my personal favourite, the elegant iris sibirica, grown in Elizabethan gardens and ponds without the yellow flag iris.
The Dog Days begin on 3rd July, and last until 11th August.
Garden lore tells us that they are linked with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, and that these are the hottest days of the year!