My Grandmothers’ Irises


In the front garden of our home, I have irises from both of my grandmothers.

My maternal grandmother, Naomi (“Mimi”) was an extremely strong woman and wife to a farmer/rancher. She was lovely and smart and generous and fiercely protective of her family.

My paternal grandmother Christine (“Tine”) was a nurse and a gardener. She was pretty and sweet and nurturing. She also had a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh.

When Mimi passed away, my mother dug up her iris bulbs, planted some in her own garden, and gave the rest to Tine, who then added the irises to her already beautiful garden full of roses of every color and type imaginable. A few years later, when Tine died, my mother dug up most of those bulbs, before she and my father sold the house, and gave them to me for my first house with my husband. When I moved from that house to our current house, a few years ago, I dug up most of the bulbs and planted them in our new front yard.

With all that digging and moving, they still take root and multiply every time they must settle into a new home. And they bloom majestically each spring. These iris blooms are a perennial reminder of my beautiful grandmothers, both gone now for over a decade. And although my own children never met these women, who were so special to me, in the irises I feel I have a piece of them here in my home and my heart that I can share and pass on.

The kids do so enjoy flowers and bright colors and hearing me tell about their great grandmothers.


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