Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Abandoned House and the Irises

There's an abandoned house up the road from our house.  Technically, it's for sale, but no one lives there, and it appears to be in pretty dire condition.  It's tipping pretty dramatically; a stiff wind would probably blow it over.  The yard is a wild tangle.  It's filled with ferns, brambles, and tall grass.

Tonight, when I was walking Birdie, I noticed the irises. There's a large iris bed ringing the front part of the property, filled with the lovely dark purple variety, packed in cheek by jowl. (Or would that be leaf by stem?)  Irises are my favorite flowers, so that's probably what really caught my attention.  But, after I noticed them, I spent the walk home thinking about the irises and the house.

Who planted them?  What happened to the people who owned the house?  Was there a time when the house and yard were well loved and cared for?  I had a lovely little day dream, imagining someone planting the bulbs, lovingly.  

Planting is such a vote for the future.  Larry and I were talking about how to establish an asparagus bed today.  It's a significant investment in time and a belief in the future.  But really, that's true of any planting.  Putting seeds, or vegetables, flowers, or trees in the ground is a statement of belief in the future.  

I imagine that the planter of the irises had no idea what would happen to his/her house.


Poppke said...


In 2005, my uncle took me to my great-grandparents farm. He hadn't been there in 25 years; when his grand-parents moved into town.

The garden still has trees around it, but the only sign of cultivation was rhubarb plants, still thriving.

Miranda Hassett said...

We have a picture hanging up of a slogan from a poster printed by the Bread & Puppet folks up in Glover, VT (whom, incidentally, you should totally check out, if you haven't already). It says, "Societies grow great when people plant trees under which they will never sit." Yeah.