Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday - Yellow Cake Memories


When I was growing up, we lived on 13 acres of farmland with several old out-buildings. Growing at the side of the big red barn were old-fashioned German beared Iris, in shades of yellow and purple. The yellow iris were a particular favorite of mine because they smelled like yellow cake. I have been searching for a yellow iris with that fragrance in my nearly 20 years as a gardener. It was a pleasant task, sniffing yellow iris at nurseries, in gardens, and at a local iris farm... but for so many years, I could not find the aroma I recalled from childhood.

Last summer I spotted the yellow iris in the photo above. Imagine my delight when I leaned down to smell it, and the sweet scent of yellow cake baking in the oven greeted me. The cultivar is "Summer Olympics." I cannot claim that it is the same cultivar that grew near the barn, but the color is right and the fragrance just perfect. I purchased the Iris and brought it home to add to my butterfly garden. Today, this lovely blossom opened fully... and of course, I leaned down and took a long deep breath of her perfume.

"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again."...Elizabeth Lawrence

photo by Aisling: 1) Summer Olympics Iris in the butterfly garden

4 comments:

Roses and Lilacs said...

I can't wait to go home and smell my yellow iris. Most of my iris smell like grape drink. I have one similar to yours and one solid yellow.

Isn't it funny how childhood memories are trigged by smells. I read somewhere that scent more than site can bring back long buried memories.

Aisling said...

I always thought our purple ones smelled a bit like grape drink, but wasn't sure if the color was influencing that perception. They certainly smell sweet.

I have had scent bring back memories with a swift rush. Lavender carries me back to an earlier childhood backyard. I used to play across a chainlink fence with two twin girls. Their mother grew Lavender right along the fence and we used to squeeze the blossoms and dab the nectar on our wrists for perfume.

Thanks for visiting! Pehaps you will come back and let me know how your yellow irises smell!

Cloudhands said...

I've got to write the Yellow Cake Iris name down where I won't lose it. I really want them back in my life. So glad you have them to share with your kids.
I also might mention I love your use of the pretty fabric from my stash. I made a mandarin colared dress with it, wore it till it was to tight and just recently put it in the Good Will bag. Have fun this weekend. Love to all. Ma

Aisling said...

Mom, I'm glad you were able to get your comment to post! I hope you find the iris. If not, I can send some corms in a year or two when mine has multiplied.

Ah, it was the fabric was for a dress! I don't know if I ever knew that. I'll bet it was pretty, and won't some lady be lucky when she finds it at Goodwill!

I'll pass your "have fun" wishes on to Senryu. Nice to see you here!

hugs,