Little Dreamer And Tiger Honey

april-24-2009-125-2It is iris time and it is looking promising.april-24-2009-059-2 Several years of hardly any blooms since the moving of the iris collection from the shed to the black and yellow/white gardens had caused amnesia as to what varieties we have. There are names swirling around in the miasma of garden notebooks and labeled photos on years of cds, but there is not the time nor inclination to look them up. Champagne Elegance was purchased in the midst of that move and has never missed a year for flowering. As we were trying to record the iris for posterity, a dark spot was noticed in the topmost flower.april-24-2009-126-2A sweet little sleepyhead was still nestled in the upright petal standards of the flower well after the sun was up.april-24-2009-123-2What a perfect boudoir for a tuckered out pollen collector.april-24-2009-124-2Is he allright? We were getting quite close and clicking away without him moving a muscle.april-24-2009-127-2Beginning to worry, the outer petal, the fall, was pulled down to let the sun’s rays hit our little sleepyhead. That was all it took. Bzzzzing commenced and out he flew like a flash, going around in circles in defense mode. Quilt ridden for waking him so rudely, but happy he was only sleeping, the iris census recommenced.april-24-2009-063-2The iris is the official Tennessee state cultivated flower. This blue was given us by one of the workmen during the renovation of the main house in 2000 as the garden slope was first planted. He said we would end up throwing them out, for they would take over. As most gardeners with a huge blank space they are trying to fill, that was music to our ears. He is right though. Some people think their irises have changed colors when they begin with a nice assortment. What actually happens is the blue are so dominant and fast growing, they crowd the others out. We now know to plant these apart from the other cultivars. The color, height and vigor are appreciated though.april-24-2009-109-2As the days progress and the temperatures warm, the colors of green sheathed buds reveal themselves. What is this going to be? Putting on the recall cap, a favorite is remembered. Could this be the same?april-27-2009-014-2Yes, it is. Iris germanica ‘Tiger Honey’ has returned. Hooray!april-27-2009-old-003-2Welcome back, dear friend. We missed you. There will be more old friends having an iris reunion if the numbers of buds are any indication. Some have names, others were passalongs from friends and neighbors but all are loved. There is great anticipation.

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32 Responses to Little Dreamer And Tiger Honey

  1. Gail says:

    Hi Frances, The bee is wonderful, I love coming upon them in the early mornings, they cooperates so nicely for their close ups! Fantastic shots of your iris. Don’t you love the buds; you can sort of see which one it might be …Is this the new camera or old one? Which ever they are great! I have a gazillion of the Tennessee Iris! They are beautiful right now; but oh so vigorous. Can you compost them? Have a sweet day! gail

    Good morning to you, dear Gail, and thanks. Yes, isn’t it so much easier to photograph the bumbles while they snooze, but I am always worried they might be permanently sleeping, if you know what I mean. I had actually forgotten about how pretty the iris were, going so many years with no flowers. They were all lifted and divided long ago, many divided too ruthlessly, then we had that late frost in 2007 that zapped them. Last year, who knows what the problem was? I am making name tags for them so I can sort of understand what is what when it comes time to divide them. That is the downside, the year they bloom the best is the year they will need divided. I swore off them a couple of times for that reason, but just can’t quit them! We need rain! The photos are both cameras, but the bee shots are the old camera.

  2. ourfriendben says:

    I too love irises, Frances, and have so enjoyed this tour of yours (mine are just now putting up fans… anticipation!). And of course I loved the conked-out bumblebee. Wonder if he had a pollen hangover?!

    Hi OFB, thanks. Anticipation is the name of it with the iris, I have guessed wrong on several since I honestly don’t even know what is out there. The bumble was sleeping so soundly I had to try and wake him up to make sure he was alive, poor guy! πŸ™‚

  3. Frances — I adore irises. I have concentrated on Dutch and Japanese with a few Siberian. I don’t know why I’ve not gotten into bearded so far. I think it’s because I never think about planting them at a time when they can be planted — isn’t that September? See!


    Hi Cameron, yes, they are some of the most regal of flowers. I had heard August was the best time to divide them, but have done it every month of the year, of course. I love the Japanese but don’t have a wet enough spot for them. Siberian came with the property, probably Ceasar’s Brother.

  4. gittan says:

    Hi Frances, your Irises are lovely. I’ve reasently discovered how many different there are. That bumbelbee must have had to much nectar / gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks. I have tried to not grow them but have to admit, the flowers are amazing.
    Yes, that was a tired little bee! πŸ™‚

  5. Jenny B says:

    Your little bumble was so fat with pollen, he was having to take a little nap! Your Iris are all so beautiful, Tiger Honey is like icing on the cake! Lovely!

    Hi Jenny, thanks. The iris really made a nice bed, with the petals folded up like curtains on a four poster bed! Tiger Honey is a really colorful one, love it.

  6. janet says:

    Your irises are just gorgeous. I really love the closeups of iris blooms, they are so interesting. Just beautiful.

    Hi Janet, thanks. The iris are making a comeback this year, hooray!

  7. Phillip (UK) says:

    Wow, those are wonderful. I love Irises, but usually prefer the small reticulata type, but these are really good.

    Hi Phillip, thanks. The retics are really great, for the time of bloom especially. These old fashioned bearded ones had lost my affection for a few years, but I am looking at them anew. πŸ™‚ How fun!

  8. Rose says:

    Frances, your close-ups are just beautiful, as always. How considerate of the bumble to oversleep, providing you with a great photo op. The blue irises are lovely. I always have more room for another garden area, so when somebody says, “would you like…” I always take them, agressive guests or not. But I can see why you like the “Tiger Honey”–she definitely has star quality.

    Hi Rose, thanks. I love happening upon sleeping bees, they are so cooperative with a camera pointing at them! The blue iris are stunning and if they were difficult to grow, would be highly prized. They just need firm management. πŸ™‚ Tiger Honey is one of the early ones to bloom and always catches my attention. Glad to know where she is too! πŸ™‚

  9. Darla says:

    I am in the envious mode right now, okay? Not one single iris bloom here…..sigh!

    Hi Darla, thanks. I am surprised you don’t have iris blooming, but these are the early ones here. Like the daffs, tulips, daylilies, etc. there seems to be early, mid and later blooming varieties. We have only just begun! πŸ™‚

  10. tina says:

    It IS iris time and how splendid they are this year! I too have been enjoying them. In fact, I have so many I’ve put out a sign that says “Iris for sale”. No takers yet:( but what can I expect in Tennessee? Love your closeups! The camera must be working out for you superbly.

    Hi Tina, HA that is funny, no takers? Yet! The new camera has yet to be mastered, the bee photos were taken with the old reliable A720.

  11. The great thing about Irises is that they have this unique petals and color shades! Lovely shots of the bee.

    Hi Chandramouli, thanks. Iris are a very unique and beautiful flower. We have not had good blooms for a few years, so we are very excited to see so many buds.

  12. Randy says:

    Our Iris are blooming now too. You have such a lovely collection! I’m planning on posting some of ours sometime this week.

    Hi Randy, thanks. I look forward to seeing your iris too. I have not added any new ones for quite a while, being kind of mad at their poor display, until this year! :-0

  13. Victoria says:

    I love our irises. Can’t wait to see them again.

    Hi Victoria, they are special flowers. Hope your give you a good show this year. πŸ™‚

  14. Gail says:

    Me again! I’ve been thinking about your comment back to me…There weren’t many iris last year, but every rhizome is putting out a bloom this year! Even those in fuller shade. Amazing how nature works…I wrote to the Native Gardens owner and she said…No seeds of collinsia this year…I will see if I can save them. gail

    Always a treat to see you here, Gail. Tina said the same thing, not many flowers last year, but lots this one. Funny how that works itself out. Patience is rewarded. Good deal on your seed saving. Maybe they will just self sow?

  15. Racquel says:

    You have wonderful varieties of Iris in your garden Frances. I only have 3 and they were pass-a-longs. The blue you showed I inherited with the house. Over the years I had given so much of it away that it actually disappeared from my garden completely. This past fall one of my kindly neighbors gave me a couple of rhizomes of it again. It is aggressive but has a sweet fragrance I can’t resist. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. That is great news about the fragrance, I didn’t know! I have several passalongs that have no name. The blues have been dug many times, given away and discarded into the brush piles. It is good to have a patch of them, keeping them away from the other purchased ones. Glad you were able to get them going again. πŸ™‚

  16. The irises are lovely, but it’s that dear little bee that won my heart, of course. We’re still behind you by a long shot, but spring has skipped into summer, at least for today. Temperatures in mid-high twenties here, beyond unusual!

    Hi Jodi, thanks. He was so sweet, sleeping soundly until I rudely let the sun shine in. It has gone straight to summer here too. Only one week after a last killing frost until 90 degree temps. Not good at all. And no rain. Good thing the rain barrel was full before we started filling the milk jugs.

  17. Catherine says:

    What great pictures! Are these with your new camera? I’m hinting away for one for my birthday in June.
    I love the sleeping bumblebee. They are the only ones that ever stay still long enough for me to take pictures of. Your iris collection is very pretty! I’m waiting for mine to bloom. It’s the first time I’ve grown them.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. No, these are with the old camera. I have not mastered the macro of the new one yet, lots of learning curve there. It will be used for the bird shots, in particular the hummers. How exciting to see your new iris bloom, hope you get lots of pretty flowers from them. πŸ™‚

  18. Pam/Digging says:

    What a darling first image, Frances. I love seeing these fuzzy bumbles, especially when they match their flowerbed so nicely. You have a pretty iris collection. I bet they show off nicely on your hillside.

    Hi Pam thanks so much. Iris were planted here while the offspring still lived here and it was the soccer party house. They bloomed even then. I put them together on the hill at the side of the shed and they were great the first year. After that, I kept planting more stuff with them since the bloom time is only a few weeks at most. They don’t like neighbors. I ended up moving them down to the lower beds behind the garage, not the main view from the house. This is the first year for good bloom since that move.

  19. Kathleen says:

    Your iris collection is looking lovely Frances. I’ve been adding to mine for the past few years. You’ve got me itching to see them now but we have at least another month to wait. 😦
    Great shots of the little bumble. I’m just catching up on a couple of your posts. Congrats on the new camera (as if you could possibly take better shots) and happy birthday! Looks like you celebrated well.

    Hi Kathleen, thanks. You must have a gorgeous collection, mine are all older cultivars. It is a good year for them.

  20. easygardener says:

    Your Irises are very beautiful. I had to rescue a bumblebee from the cat yesterday. It took quite a while to get him airborne. I think he was as tired and pollen laden as yours was!

    Hi EG, thanks. Poor little bumble! You are a good samaritan for that daring rescue! πŸ™‚

  21. I love the mental imagery of Bumble Bee Bodouir. Your irises are gorgeous. My old fashioned purple iris are blooming now too. I think the series of 80+degree days forced them out. Now hopefully the cooler wet weather will keep them abloom longer.

    Hi Lisa, thanks, it was very private with the standards of the iris surrounding him/her. The sunlight was shaded with the petals, casting a lemon yellow glow. Sort of like Jeannie in the bottle. HA So sorry you are having those hot days too. The flowers and plants are drooping, it has come on too fast, with no rain for us. I have several older ones from my neighbors, that are all so lovely.

  22. Brenda Kula says:

    Wow, Frances, that gold shade is just stunning! Wish they’d come take over my yard. Who cares what they’re called. They’re called beautiful!

    Hi Brenda, thanks. That is an eye catching iris in the midst of all the green leaves, it jumps out at you. The blue ones are pretty, but a plant that eats the other plants has to be kept on a leash! πŸ™‚

  23. Dawn says:

    Hi Frances, your irises are so pretty but your photos are the best! Alway have been! Thanks for sharing the “dreaming bee who was disturbed”

    Hi Dawn, thanks so much, I am glad you enjoy them. Love your phrasing about the bee, it would have been a good title! πŸ™‚

  24. Jan says:

    Everything looks so lovely and colorful. I love Tiger Honey the best. It is just gorgeous. Cute little bee, too.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. Isn’t that iris so gorgeous? It really is a star right now.

  25. Lythrum says:

    My siberian irises have a bunch of buds coming out on them too. I can’t wait until they open up!

    Hi Lythrum, ohh, that sounds so exciting! Buds are as good as flowers in my book, the anticipation factor cannot be overrated. πŸ™‚

  26. Lola says:

    That little ball of fur sure is a cutie. Glad he was only sleeping. A nice safe place for a bed.
    I love all you colors. I’ve started some iris this yr. One is in bloom now {Royal Thunder}. A very pretty purple.

    Hi Lola, thanks. Sleeping bees are so much easier to photograph, although there is always the thought that they might suddenly awake when we are up close and personal with them! Your iris sounds divine, love the name! πŸ™‚

  27. Tabbie says:

    Fabulous irises! They were my grandmother’s favorites.

    Hi Tabbie, thanks and welcome. Iris do conjure memories of grandmothers for me also, a happy thought.

  28. Steve says:

    I do have a happy place, yes, Frances. I even have it on tape. If I want to feel good I can watch a video I made of my daughter dancing in a ballet – featured, no less, just a little tiny thing, too – in front of a fairly huge crowd, maybe 2,000 people in Pioneer Theater in Reno. She acted like she’d done it forever – she was 7. You can hear my laughs on the tape – as well as my pride. OK, so there were sobs, lol. It was wild, embarrassing and wonderful.

    Wrong post, but you get the message! πŸ˜‰

    Hi Steve, that is truly a happy place, thanks for sharing it. We have videos of our daughter performing too that is priceless beyond measure. Pride and love are a good mix of emotions.

    I have combined the comments, and yes, the message comes through loud and clear. πŸ™‚

  29. Our bearded iris for the most part are a few weeks from blooming but my dwarf bearded irises are blooming now. I’m glad you saw the dreaming bee before you stuck your nose in that flower to take in the scent of the irises!

    Hi Carol, thanks. I love those little iris too, their early bloom time makes them extra special. Lucky for me, it was the camera’s nose, not mine inside the flower! HA

  30. Hi Frances, I too love irises (all kinds!). I’m so looking forward to my bearded ones blooming–foliage is up, but no buds yet.

    Hi Monica, I do hope your iris give you a great display this year. We have not had good luck with them for the last several until this year. Worth the wait though. πŸ™‚

  31. Sweet Bay says:

    Isn’t this time of year glorious? I love your iris, and the bee story.

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks so much. Yes, this time of year is fabulous, the weather, the blooms, the bees! πŸ™‚

  32. Les says:

    I LOVE that Tiger Honey. I catch a lot of grief from co-workers for my love of those “muddy, murky colors” as they put it. My taste in day lilies trends towards that range as well. Your garden looks great!

    Hi Les, thanks. Isn’t she a beauty? I love the murky iris, hopefully when all of mine bloom there will be some among them. I know I bought some a few years back. I believe we share the daylily taste as well. πŸ™‚

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