The Iris Story
Here’s something you don’t know about me:
I grew up on ten acres of hillside in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, in a house with one glass side overlooking a panorama that encompassed miles of farmland spread like a cloak to the foot of the Cascades. We moved away when I was seventeen — an event about which I’d had nightmares for years — and I have been trying to get back ever since.
At In the Night Farm, I am content. True, my windows gaze over different farms, and my horizon constitutes the Snake River breaks instead of a mountain range. Here, I see sunsets instead of sunrises. But here, nonetheless, I am home.
At the foot of my childhood home lay a bank trellised with railroad ties. Between the ties grew prize-winning irises given to us by the professional iris growers who were our nearest neighbors. When we left, my dad took some of the rhizomes to plant at his new home. Five years ago, he passed divisions on to me.
I lived in Pullman, Washington, at the time, and it was winter. Before spring, I moved to Idaho and brought the rhizomes. They followed me from an apartment, to a house, to a duplex, to another house, to a cottage, to a Barb horse ranch, to a rental house, and finally to In the Night Farm. Here, after five years in pots, surviving to send up sword-like leaves but never blossoms, they found a place on the west side of the house.