I have grown fond of bearded iris, despite their short bloom season in the high desert. They require little from their caretaker. If the winter rains are sparse, a couple of waterings are enough to last them until the monsoon. The brief show of blooms is beautiful and fragrant, but in dry years like this they seem also to be... deer-delicious. My very favorite iris has a deep purple edge with snowy white:
I awoke one day after a deer raid on the yard to find all but one bud had become deer salad. I do appreciate having one left. Here is the full view, with three stems cleaned of their buds -- one in the right foreground and two behind the solitary survivor. Hey, it's hard to make a living out there this year!
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