Just when I think I can't take it anymore, things heat up even more around here. Not literally - although our god damn cooler is on the fritz yet again and it has been in the 80's here - but figuratively - as in the flowers are just coming in off the charts. There is no time of year like now, and although I'm not the spring frolicking type (I'll keep my boots on in the grass and patiently wait for the autumn thank you) I cannot deny the excitement and energy I have for these flowers. I stay up later, wake up earlier to be with them. The tuning fork; struck. The vibrations accelerating!
So you have the bearded iris there. A fine specimen of natures awe-inspiring designs. Sexual. Let the record show that is a word I use timidly to describe a flower, but there it is I've said it. I know of few other flowers as captivating as the bearded iris. They leave me speechless.
And then there is the black lace elderberry...
also known as Sambucus nigra. A sight for sore eyes in zones 4-7. I've waited for it all year. In spring it emerges with rich black foliage and large flat, blush colored flowers. Berries suitable for wine or jam in the fall. And the most elegant cuttings for arrangements should you be so inclined to give pairing to your bearded iris, lily of the valley or early tree peonies.
The lavender variety of lily of the valley (convallaria majalis rosea) has a fragrance even more intoxicating than it's white counterpart, and though rare, is worth seeking out and spending a bit more on. I would personally would pay 15 cents a sniff. Consider setting up a roadside stand!