Stand and Stare

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

I know it is an over quoted poem but I do love it and think the sentiment is very true.  Interestingly with the hot dry weather we have been having I have found myself unable to dig my new border and actually spending a lot of time standing and staring at the garden – often with a hose or watering can in my hand!  I have had time to really look at what is in flower instead of, as is usual at this time of year, barely registering and certainly not examining blooms.  Today I noticed that the Irises were well ahead of last year with some of them already going over in the heat.  Irises are up there amongst my favourite flowers and seem to do really well in my garden so I am planning on acquiring another one or two at next weeks Malvern Spring Show.  So I will leave you with some Iris pictures – at the top is an Iris sibirica – I have no idea which as had it so long.

I have had this Iris since I was about 12 and it has moved house with me so many times.  When I was 12 we moved to a house that had been quite neglected and had a large 3/4 acre garden which was overgrown.  My parents cleared the central areas but much of the side areas were left while they did the house and where like a secret garden to me.  I think this is where my interest in plants started.  I spent a lot of time clearing brambles to reveal old fashioned roses and irises which I carefully transplanted to the cultivated part of the garden.  I would love to know what this iris is – I have left a trail of them in my wake since that house!!

This is a new Iris to the garden.  I bought it from Clare Austin’s stand at last year’s Spring Show.  It is a dwarf Iris and called Sweet Kate.  I hope it bulks up like some of my other irises as it is wonderful along the front of the border.

Another favourite  Iris which has just come out in the front garden is Langport Wren.  There is something about the colour of this Iris that is just so rich and sumptuous and to be honest I have found myself  drawn to these sort of rich colours more and more.

I am really looking forward to seeing what Irises are on display at Malvern and hopefully coming away with one or two new treats!

9 Comments on “Stand and Stare

  1. Lovely Helen and thant you for the name of the dark sumptuous Langporrt which I think I bought a couple of years ago. I have really only just started to appreciate irises and am now looking for more different colours. They do very well in my free draining soil, and bulk up very quickly. I would especially like to have some of the dwarf varieties. Can you let me know if you have ever bought them mail order, thanks, Christina

  2. It may be an over quoted poem – but it is just the reminder I need at this busy time of year.

    This is the first garden I have planted iris siberica in – and they really are quite amazing – it will be interesting to see which gems find their way into your garden after the spring show!
    K

  3. Beautiful Helen I love the poem and your pictures of the irises are superb.

    I remember painting an iris for my art O level a zillion years ago and have loved them ever since. I adore the Langport Wren those deep colours are fabulous.
    Unfortunately I cannot grow them in my garden as there is too much shade so have to take pleasure in other peoples achievments. I have thought of trying them in a pot which Ican move into more sunlight, if I can keep the squirrels off of course!

  4. A lovely post
    Iris are also my favourite flower, more precious for their fleeting blooms. Sweet Kate is a stunning variety, I just love the watercolour colours.

  5. Lovely poem and photos of the iris. You have such beauties in the garden and I am anxiously awaiting my iris to bloom. I see allium in the background too. They are in my iris bed also. Is springtime not a great season of anticipation?

  6. Such beautiful iris. Not quite warm enough here yet. At least it’s not snowing today.

  7. We call it constructive staring because it often brings a solution to an old problem.

    Your iris pics are outstanding. I had the first bearded iris bloom in my garden this spring. Excitement! I look forward to seeing your Malvern photos.

  8. Your irises are lovely! I think gardening is all about standing and staring. Those moments are our reward for all the hard work we do.

  9. A poem well remembered from school days. I think that I need to explore irises in more depth ~ I only have one which I bought from a local open garden many moons ago. It’s a Pacific Coast iris – muted colours, quite beautiful but oh so fleeting with its flowers 😦 Can you recommend any that have staying power?

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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