Saturday, February 27, 2010
On a day like today—cold and very, very wet—I find myself looking forward to my spring garden and wondering what is taking so long? The Dutch irises first broke ground way back in November. Their leaves have grown longer, their stems taller and more sturdy and, still, there is no sign of their brilliant blue blooms. Perhaps they need less rain and more sunshine. I know I do.
The iris is February's birth flower. But they're not going to make it in time to celebrate—not at my house anyway. When they do appear, I'll take note of their three upright petals symbolizing faith, valor and wisdom. I'll remark to someone, as I always do, how much they resemble the French fleur-de-lis which, in fact, was modeled on this flower. History tells many stories of how this came to be and how the symbol has endured. It is impossible to recount them all here. History also tells that symbolic use of this dignified and graceful flower dates even further back—to Ancient Greece—when Iris, the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow acted as the link between heaven and earth. An interesting article about the iris of history and legend can be found here.
Gorgeous blue hues like that of the iris find their way into our homes with such regularity and to such great effect that House Beautiful magazine has devoted much of its March issue to blue rooms of present and past. You can see 53 of them on their website. Below, I've chosen to feature just one for this flower-of-the-month post: the kitchen in a Fire Island, NY summer home that stars a wall of glass subway tile in a color that designer Marshall Watson calls "periwinkle verging on cobalt". How lucky for these homeowners... to have such a lovely color on view all year 'round.