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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maxine and Jean

Maxine Iris. I'm sure there is another name, and one you may think more correct, but for me this is a Maxine Iris.  Maxine gave the iris to me about ten years ago.  She didn't invent the strain. She bought it from a catalogue with some other name given.  I don't know the name nor did Maxine.  But the moment she gave me the bag of ugly  rhizomes they became Maxines. The Maxines have been moved around alot throughout their short time in my garden as I search for the perfect spot.  Like most maturing gardens, mine has become more shady.  I move the rhizomes as the light moves.  They seem to do best in dappled light. 

This blue bearded Iris to the right is a Jean Satterfield Iris.  Mrs Satterfield died two years after I moved here. I didn't know her well but she was nice to me.  Her garden was across the rural village road from the home she shared with her husband - Mr. Satterfield.  The Satterfields kept a neat garden. Besides all the usual vegetables, they grew several rows of these blue irises.  Every couple years, Mr. Satterfield had to dig up the rhizomes, clean them, divide them, cut off diseased spots and replant them in the straight rows his wife demanded.  Evidently the replanting of the irises was not a chore he enjoyed. The same year Mrs. Satterfield died, Mr. Satterfield dug up the misshapen rhizomes for the last time.  He distributed them throughout town to any and every woman who wanted some. There were plenty to go around.  My mother-in-law made sure that some made their way to my home where they were planted in an uncreative straight line along the house in front of the bedroom window.
A couple years later when my own flower garden began to be established, Jean Satterfield found a new home.Like Maxine, Jean Satterfield moves with the light.  She likes things bright. Maxine, the human, lost her husband to death this spring.  Someday Maxine will be gone, too. Each spring when my iris ladies bloom, showing off their lavender blue or brown skirts I will think of these gardening ladies and the care they gave to creation.  Like most gardens, many of my blooms are the result of the care of other women and men who took the time to plant, nurture and appreciate.
Today I will walk from light to shadow and back into the sunshine, spending my morning with Maxine and Jean Satterfield.

1 comment:

Green Thumbelina said...

This is an absolutely beautiful and touching post.