In my Firenze the beautiful thread, replies 23 through 30, I reported on my climb up to this delightful garden, the visit to Piazza Michelangelo while up there, and the beauties of the trip down. What was missing was the visit to the garden itself, which I now present.
The garden, which celebrates the flower that for centuries has been the symbol of Florence, was created in 1954 to provide a worthy setting for an international iris competition established that year. source and more information.
I was fortunate to get such a beautiful day after so much April rain in Florence and also to see so many of the irises in glorious bloom ~
Aren't they?! There was every variation you could think of, from the most subtle to proudly bold. There had been so much rain that I was prepared to see most of the flowers turned to mush. You can see evidence of rain on some of the petals, but the brave little flags kept flying.
When I asked for directions to the water garden I was warned that there might not be much in bloom. The Louisianas were just starting their show, but the Japanese irises had not come out yet.
When I went to the Piazza Michelangelo after enjoying the iris garden, I didn't stay until full sunset. Apparently every visit-Florence blog entry in the world tells you to "grab a bottle of wine" (does that mean steal it?) and take in sunset at the Piazza with your significant other. As sunset approached, it was evident that many, many people had read and followed this advice. The sound of selfies was loud in the land.
The sun going down over the city was indeed beautiful, but the rays of late afternoon in the iris garden created a lovely visual treat as well ~
The keepers of the garden do a nice job of protecting the plants with a minimum of intrusive barriers ~
Younger plants awaiting their time to shine ~
One of the many spots to sit and take in the quiet, naturalistic design of the garden ~
Those yellow irises that grow beside water -- where we live now there is a lake and there are huge clumps of them in bloom these days.
Last year I ordered some irises from a producer in a nearby department. When they arrived, they were tiny little rhizomes but this year some of them actually bloomed. Unfortunately, we have had so much rain that they do turn to mush within a day or two.
In that Florence garden, I guess they fence them off to keep the selfie-crowd from trampling all over them, like on the tulips in Holland.
The selfish selfie crowd even tramples on the tulips grown as a crop, for sale at home and abroad. They should be fined.
A perk of staying in Amsterdam (and other Dutch cities) is that the "imperfect" flowers are sold for cheap at public markets. Imperfect flowers look like the ones we grow at home.
No irises out here; too cool and rainy this year. We have some red tulips out in front of the co-op triplexes. Even my sturdy beauf geraniums are suffering. The potted herbs are doing well, though. No basil planted yet.
bixa, which is your Louisiana iris? And those are beautiful views. I'm imagining a mass incarceration of visitors who have stolen bottles of wine from Florentine groceries and wine shops...
Bjd, those are Louisiana irises. There are named varieties, but the native classic is the bold yellow which indeed grows and blooms in big clumps in the right conditions, just as you describe. That is thrilling to have those teeny rhizomes produce and bloom so quickly. Hope you get better weather next year for their display.
re: selfie crowd ~ I am very pleased to report that there was a respectful, even contemplative mood throughout the iris garden, making it even more of a treat to be there. The roped off beds I think are to keep people at the proper distance, as there are always a few who seem to be compelled to touch plants. Notice that the younger, non-blooming beds aren't roped off yet.
LaGatta, this unseasonable cool rainy business seems to be hitting both sides of the Atlantic. I have to get off the computer & go to the train station, praying it won't rain again. The Louisianas are pics 2 & 3 in reply # five. Yes, hordes of dreamy couples holding up phones in front of their happy faces, many with wine. I had a lesson for my reflexive curmudgeonliness, though. I was fiddling with my camera while standing behind a wine-packing couple at the viewing wall. The man turned to me and said, "Hey, come on in here -- we don't need to hog the view!" Nice young people from Florida, just being happy with the experience. I hope that teaches me to be less of a judgmental bitch.
Thank you, dear Mick. Wish you could have been there.
The Iris versicolore, a blue iris, is Québec's symbol. Normally it should be blooming by now - but everything is late, including the lilacs and we still have some tulips, which should be done by now. Walking and cycling about, I did see some beautiful lilacs and spectacular pink crabapple trees. There is a little park for small children planted with many of them, so a lot of parents and grandparents take pictures of their little ones under the pretty trees.
I'm pleased that the Florentine garden is an "English" style, as opposed to the very formal French or Italian style. I can appreciate those, but I'm happier in the pseudo-natural English ones. I did get a look at Villa Medici in Fiesole, with the spectacular view over Florence, because someone I know was living up there. I'm a bit sad thinking of Florence as a friend there died fairly young, just after retiring. He was such a kind man.
How did I miss this? Very lucky to be in Florence at the very peak of iris season, something I've never managed myself. Lovely photos, naturally. We get the "yellow flag" iris growing around the edges of lakes and ponds here too, but I love the larger, showier bearded irises with their perfume. Another huge fan of the English style of garden here, the more formal continental style just can't compare for me.
I have enjoyed some formal gardens, but truly, the English style is my idea of Paradise.
The Florence iris garden is kind of a triumph in terms of aesthetics, since it's essentially just a growing ground for the different varieties. It goes back and back, with the fifties and sixties winners being grown all the way back beyond the water garden.
Fumobici, yes the bearded iris will always win my heart with their combination of plantly arrogance and sheer flounciness. I do feel quite lucky, as I imagine the short time the garden is open each year doesn't always afford such a nice display.
Another vote for English-style gardens. In French, there are gardens called "jardin de curé", meaning the kind of garden where flowers, bushes and vegetables are all grown together and not formally aligned.
In fact, in France in ordinary neighbourhood gardens I see when wandering around (when they are not hidden behind high hedges or walls), gardens are not that nice. Either they put a bit of everything with no ideas about design or colour, or else they put in a lot of veggies with the occasional flowers. Perhaps it's different in wetter areas where you can count on regular rainfall too. I'm mainly familiar with Toulouse where it's hot and dry in summer.
But it is true that over the decades I have been in France, municipal gardeners have made big strides and no longer plant boring flower beds with the name of the town picked out in begonias.
Well, those could be better arranged, but I certainly don't blame people for wanting to grow vegetables. If they are allotment gardens, the members have to. They are allowed some flowers, but not to take their whole allotment for flowers or other decorative items. I have herbs on my balconies as well of flowers.
I was through Toulouse on the train during a terrible drought. Even the trees looked burnt. It is an attractive town though, and I'd like to return, probably more during the university term.
No, it really is exclusively a giardino dell'iris. There were a few climbing roses in the trees, but the garden exists as a living encyclopedia of irises. I'm sure what you would see right now is what is in the pictures, minus most of the iris flowers. Possibly the Japanese irises in the pond are putting on a show, but the garden is closed until next year, in any event.