We Rimaroos (as Rim Review columnist Jim Keyworth calls us) may not agree on everything, but one thing we can agree on is that this spring we had the best crop of iris ever. Despite the ongoing drought and our tendency to ignore them to the point of outright neglect, this year's iris went all out to give us a great show.
They brought an uncommon elegance to our yards and an exceptional joy to our hearts. Almost everyone had some of these majestic and practically indestructible flowers. Only Mother Nature could create their colors: the traditional purple Payson iris, the whites, the creams, the yellow, the lavenders, the browns, the bronzes and the two-tones. My particular favorites lean toward pale salmon and what I call white-zinfandel-over-merlot wine.
Our iris gave us a rare gift this year. The reminded us that tight budgets, run-off elections, barking dogs, bark beetles, airpark noise, forest fires and water restrictions are not the reasons we chose Payson or the outlying areas. We chose Payson because, while the Payson area is always a great place to live, we occasionally rise above ourselves as our iris did this year to accomplish worthwhile goals that "enhance the quality of the day" (Thoreau) for all.
One more reminder, when your iris are finished blooming, help them out by cutting off the flower stem as far down as possible. As long as the stem stays on the plant, it draws much-needed nourishment away from the leaves. A little care now might give us a repeat performance of this year's stunning iris show. Wouldn't that be a treat?
Susan Campbell, Payson