Iris are great spreaders so for better or for worse Σπάροζα is home to lots of Iris germanica. And I mean lots! Thankfully the Bearded Iris is beautiful in all measures. It has dusty pale green-blue spathes for leaves about the colour of a churning sea. The flowers may be white or a funereal violet and the flower-spikes even look decorative if left on the plant. Like I said we have a massive quantity of Iris germanica which is why it has taken us, with the help of the invaluable volunteers, three weeks to clear the Iris debris from the garden around the house. Why, you may wonder, spend almost a month clearing dead leaves. Well, the Iris look less ragged now and so does the landscape or planting scheme they are in. This is important in a droughty garden where brittle browns outnumber green colours!
In the pictures above you can see cleared and uncleared Iris and a fraction of the leaf debris collected for shredding. The removal of the dead leaves has also created transparency that allows the eye to move more lightly through the vista. I believe allowing sun and air to get to the rhizomes, the foodstore of the plant. Even more than for aesthetic appeal, this task is also awfully useful as all the debris can be put through the shredder and spread as a mulch. All of it has gone onto a section of the phrygana which will greatly benefit from it. A mulch not only helps to keep the soil beneath it moister and cooler but once broken down it will also feed the poor soil and nourish the plants. Finally, it gives a consistent and padded finish to an otherwise rather angsty looking space.
Although this job has been monotonous and rather trying on the lower back, how can I complain when I have such sweet company for my work. What is more, spending prolonged amounts of time in specific parts of the garden has enabled discoveries that may have otherwise never taken place. One afternoon, for example, while clearing Iris (of course) the sun shone through the drooping branches of a Cupressus and these beauties glowed out at me like lava escaping from a writhing oxidised crust.
Thankfully, today it rained and it is meant to continue doing so on and off for the following tow weeks. Hurah! Our meter measured 2.5mm of rainfall between 12pm and 5.30pm today. This may be it! The autumn wildflowers can finally bloom and the succulents will become bloated and merry again. I will be sure to let you know! Till then, do a raindance and send your throughts to thirsty Σπάροζα.