This story is from our May 2014 Memorial Day weekend blog - sometimes I just chuckle thinking about it:

Many of you will enjoy family gatherings, road trips or other special traditions this weekend. Decorating graves is a long tradition for many of us. It can be a time of fond reflection while honoring veterans, relatives and friends. What can be better than decorating with beautiful peonies? Well, for some, it can be iris.

A gentleman drove up to the farm today and asked if we sold cut iris for Memorial Day. I told him we have iris plants, but not cut iris stems this year. I said we have lots of cut peonies available. He squirmed a bit and said he had his heart set on iris. I sensed that his tradition was iris. I referred him to our neighbors, Schreiner’s Iris and told him they should have cut iris available this weekend. He seemed relieved. He then told me the story – the story of his aversion to beautiful peonies.

He said peonies are lovely; but, he just had to have cut iris for Memorial Day. When he was a young boy, his Mother had peonies – big, beautiful, fine peonies. One year, just as the peony buds swelled, ready to burst forth with the most magnificent blooms his Mother would see each spring, he was overcome by an idea.

He was playing outside as he realized he could swing his baseball bat at just the height of those peony buds; and swing he did. It was like a home run. The adrenaline rushed. He batted those buds and batted again, knocking each one to the ground - his Mother’s prized peonies. “Well”, he said with a bit of remorse and a slight chuckle, “it left a very deep impression upon me; not only on my backside, but embedded in my mind each time I see a peony. Peonies are beautiful, but I have to have iris.” He thanked me for the referral and directions to the neighbor’s farm and headed out to get his cut iris. I’m hopeful they had some for him.

Here at Brooks Gardens, we’re all about peonies and iris….and some days, great stories.

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