We have a delightful variety of iris in the Beale garden, and for some reason this spring they are exceptional. For the past few years a mid-winter warm spell has caused a few of them to pop up prematurely, but this winter that didn't happen, and they got to save all of their energy for a May display.
The iris was designated the Tennessee state flower in 1933. I'm not sure why. There's even an Iris Festival this weekend in Dresden. One of the things I love about iris is that they come in such a variety of beautiful and unusual colors. Here's a look at a few of the varieties in our garden. I'm partial to the classic blue, of course, but the burgundy is so rich and unexpected that it's a favorite, as well.