Saturday 17 March 2012: Iris
Most of the stories about Iris come from the ancient Greeks.
Iris was the personification of rainbow and therefore hope, and the messenger of the gods. The Greeks planted irises on the graves of women, holding the faith that the goddess would lead their souls to the Elysian Fields. Maybe this is the origin of their popularity in wreaths today, and my father with his country beliefs, certainly felt they were 'funeral' flowers.
Later, probably around the Middle Ages, the lily became stylised as the Fleur de Lys and was linked to the French Monarchy.
Later still, Claude Money painted the irises in his garden at Giverny, and is supposed to have said: "I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."
This particular iris grows in our neighbours' garden, seen when on fish feeding duty in the rain.
sheds its tears
on the iris
of the gods' link