Today, the interpretation of this phenomenon has ruled out all gods and Iris from the picture, and replaced them with far less etheric reflection, refraction and tiny drops of water. Abandoned Iris did not perish, though. Leaving the modernised colourful spectrum of light in the sky behind, she found a hospitable shelter in the Iris species whose showy flowers reflect and glitter with all possible colours of the rainbow for the gods still want to communicate with us. Don't you think it is time you check your flower inbox?
Iris x barbata forms rhizomes- partly underground and fleshy roots- and they like to creep. Its strap or sward-like flat leaves grow in clumps and are very decorative throughout the whole vegetative season, even after the flowering period is gone. The flower buds appear on stiff, upright stems and there are several of them on each one. The older the plant the more flower stems and flowers buds are produced. The colours of the flowers represent -as it was said before- the whole rainbow, Iris herself, hence the Latin name of the plant. If I were to be a little critical, I would like the red shades to be more pure red and intense. Nevertheless, the number of different cultivars and hybrids is beyond calculation (or description) and new ones are sure to come every year.
Diving deeper into the symbolic language of flowers, we can read that iris - in general - represents faith and authority, which naturally lead to victorious conquest. And that can bring...pain. Iris also protects from various evil spirits including the one which wants us to conquest too much. Having such a plant in the garden now seems to be a must.
Good news is that growing beard irises is quite easy as long as you find a well-drained location in your garden as they abhor too much moisture in the soil. Because of their mythic heritage they require a lot of sun. They do well in most soils supplemented with light feeding early spring and right after blooming period. Remember to plant the rhizomes with their top right below the ground surface. The end with leaves marks the growing part, so try to point that end in the desired direction for the rhizome to creep. In order to secure abundant flowering and almost eternal growth, lift and divide the clumps after 3-4 years of cultivation. That helps to avoid overcrowding which always diminishes flowering. Try to plant as many bearded irises as you can choosing from miniature dwarf or standard dwarf, or intermediate, or border and tall ones which, of course, differ in height.
The garden full of blooming irises becomes a rainbow whose message is pure happiness and joy, the pain comes a little later when the flowers say good bye. But throw that pain away!