Blue and white striped irises are especially lovely, their colour accentuated by a blue pot. I would have guessed these are ‘Katharine Hodgkin’, but they lack the characteristic yellow that suffuses the lip of the lower petals. In compensation, the tips of the crest-like upper petals have artistic streaks of delft blue.
Here is the real ‘Katharine Hodgkin’, elegant and refined against a backdrop of fallen leaves.
The petals of Iris reticulata become flimsy and translucent as they gradually wither away. I usually try to photograph them when the flowers are still sturdy and fresh, but couldn’t resist sharing this yellow cultivar, photographed at Bodnant Garden a few weeks ago:
Iris reticulata ‘North Star’ still had an ethereal beauty, despite the bedraggled petals, after successive bouts of cold winter rain. It reminded me of the Wicked Witch of the West’s response to being splashed by water – “I’m melting, I’m melting!”.
Being cold, damp and bedraggled myself at the time, it was easy to sympathise with the flower.