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  • Writer's pictureJill

Irises for the Neighborhood

When my daughter and I divided the irises in my garden, the ones that my mother planted, I simply didn’t have enough room for all of the bulbs that resulted from my work. And I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great to gift my neighbors with the extra bulbs?

And so I began the project. I divided bulbs from three different beds in my garden for a total of over 200 bulbs! I wasn’t able to give them away immediately, so I stored them in the garage for a while; however, it has been so hot – that maybe that wasn’t a great idea. I think that I could have done a better job of storing – and provided a better environment for their storage. The worst decision that I made was to store them in plastic bags. They couldn’t breathe, they were piled on top of each other, and as a result some of them became moldy. Others dried out a little, and while I think they will be fine, there are ways that I could have devised to keep them green until they were planted. I learned my lesson.

So when I was ready to organize the bulbs for the giveaway, I had to go through the bulbs again, and eliminate those that did not make it. Then, I separated out the bulbs in twos and threes, and placed them in baggies. I also placed a note inside the baggies. Here’s what it said:

Let me tell you about my irises. These are bulbs from my garden that my mother planted when she was living with us. Her name was Verna, and she lived in our guest house for almost 15 years. She helped me raise my children, and was an avid gardener, a good neighbor to many here in our neighborhood, and loved her irises.

I would love for her irises to find a home in your garden, and I know that Verna would love that too. So, please enjoy.

Tomorrow I am placing the bin of irises on my curb, in the hopes that my neighbors will take some of my mom’s irises and plant them in their own gardens. A legacy of happy that would make my mom.


Sep 07, 2020


Here's the lowdown. Robert and I are in Berkeley awaiting the birth of our first grandchild - so we are not at home where I can obsess over my garden! I am having trouble not being there! But the grandbaby is late - and so we wait. In the meantime, we are having someone water for us. Our neighbor told us that almost all of the iris bulbs were gone - which makes me happy. But I told her to bring the rest in - because it was 120 degrees where we live! What is happening! Thanks for asking! Jill


Brenda Corbin
Sep 07, 2020

Just curious, did all the iris bulbs get picked up by your neighbors? I love it when neighbors share iris they have divided.


Laura Driscoll
Sep 02, 2020

Verna’s Lovely Iris Legacy!

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