Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 4
August 2007
From the Garden

Iris blooms

The following is an excerpt from Flora's Lexicon: The Language of Flowers, originally printed in 1860, reprinted by Algrove Publishing Limited, 2001.

The Iris

This plant is supposed to have been named after Juno's attendant because its colours are similar to those bestowed on the messenger of that goddess by poets and mythological writers. Iris is usually portrayed as descending from a rainbow; and the eye of heaven (Plutarch says that is the meaning of the word Iris) is not more variegated than the flower that has been honoured by her name.

Iris, on saffron wings array'd with dew
Of various colours, through the sunbeams flew.


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Cape Cod Doormats

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