Florence Above the Arno: Mother’s Day & Irises

by MsNickel on May 9, 2010

Florence May 09, 2010
On a hill high above the Arno River is a garden. Its gate is almost hidden protecting it from all but the most resourceful.

Terraces that fall for a thousand or so feet are joined together by twisty flagstone paths. The terraces are peppered by ancient olive trees draped by old rugosos. This garden has a single purpose: to be the ode to the bearded iris. Open only 19 days each year during May, it houses over 2000 varieties and colors of this majestic flower.

The air is heady with their scent.

The paths are lined with sage and rosemary plants and friendly benches. Poppies spring up everywhere vying for attention. They don’t stand a chance against the riotous colors and elegant shape of the irises.
My mother loved irises. She would throw them in the ground and they would magically spring up every year, responsive to her cavalier gardening habits. But she wasn’t really, cavalier, that is. She tended them lovingly as she did all of her garden, preening them constantly, and they responded to her, with enthusiastic and lon blooming periods.

Today is mother’s day and it is fitting that I am here, in Italy, looking at irises and thinking of her.

She would have loved this so. But as much as she would hav eloved this garden and hearing all the Italian being spoken around her, she would have been anxious to get back to her real, one and only love. My Dad.

My father would have been 90 years old tomorrow, May 10.  Together they were a pair not to be reckoned with. Seldom apart, they hated any separations from each other, and their last parting only separted them by 90 days. Mother’s day and Dad’s birthday, like them inseparably joined together.

{ 2 comments }

Kristina May 9, 2010 at 9:10 am

Lovely photos and beautiful ode to Grandma and Grandpa. I miss them. I love you. Happy Mother's Day!

Tris May 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Beautiful Mother's Day post. My Grandma Opal's birthday was May 11th and often fell on Mother's Day. She would have been 97 this year.

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