In April the irises flower in Chianti. They are mostly mauve (some are white or dark purple) and wave in fields or from the tops of walls along winding country roads.
|Although normally red on white, this giglio evinces the real colour and shape of the local giaggiolo|
|Hystrix cristata or crested porcupine|
Planted on steep slopes or along the tops of walls, irises have a better chance of survival as porcupines are wary of heights. Early in our plantings I installed a row of giaggioli behind some lavender, along the top of a wall but still accessible on the flat. One morning soon after I found a hole at one end of the row where a plant had been. The next morning two holes. At this point I uprooted the survivors and planted them in tubs. Now we plant all irises in pots or fenced areas if not on slopes, presumably out of the comfort area of the beasts. We even have to be careful with our tulips, daffodils and other bulb or tuberous plants.
|our very own white irises, flowering now|
|our very own dwarf iris, the first to flower in spring|
Written in collaboration with Explicit