The irises are coming into their own just now. Wonderfully hardy and easy to grow, they multiply every year. Nothing seems to bother them other than an occasional slug.
Iris are named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow -- presumably because they come in so many colors. Purples, yellows, white, pinks, blues, even almost black. A true red has yet to be achieved but breeders are working on it!
They grow wild on the slopes of our woods -- modest little lavender beauties.
But I've planted lots more 'tame' varieties. I'm not sure what this one below is -- it was a gift from a neighbor who called it an 'old-timey' iris. It's smaller than the modern bearded iris that seems to be the favorite of breeders and the coloring is subtle on those upright parts called the standards.
Two more bearded ladies.
This smaller purple one is, I believe, a Siberian iris. Its leaves are narrower and the flowers smaller but they bloom profusely and multiply like nobody's business.
It's impossible for me to pick a favorite iris -- and the Louisiana and the Japanese irises aren't even open yet!