A Walk Among the Flowers

Lenape Trail and Presby Memorial Iris Gardens

Photo taken at Presby Memorial Iris Gardens

Today, I took a walk at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. First, I made a silly little mistake which turned out to be what Bob Ross would deem a “happy little accident.” The garden is situated between two parallel streets in Montclair, New Jersey, Upper Mountain Avenue and Highland Avenue. I wanted to park my car on the top side of the garden, on Highland Avenue, and walk down. Instead, I made a turn too soon, onto Edgecliff Road which turns into Old Quarry Road. I drove down to where there was a little gravel parking lot on the side of the road and thought that might be related to the gardens.

Right by the parking lot was a sign for the Lenape Trail, a 34 mile hiking trail that connects many parks and winds all around Essex County in New Jersey. I like walking in the woods, and I have walked other sections of the Lenape Trail, so I thought I would take the trail for a bit, assuming it would intersect with the streets where the garden is situated. I was wrong.

I talked to a couple of other hikers on the trail who informed me otherwise. I still explored a little bit further, and though the hikers suggested a way I could go to reach my destination eventually, I decided to walk back to my car and drive to where I had intended to park initially. It turns out I had entered Mills Reservation which I just blogged about, but in a different entrance from where I had ever approached it before. It gives me ideas for future walks and exploring a different area.

This is still the beginning of the season, so the gardens were not as full of blooms as they will be a little later. According the garden website, they have 10,000 irises of 1,500 varieties that will produce 100,000 blooms over the course of the season.

The garden is so vast that the blooms seemed sparse, but I still found plenty of pretty flowers to photograph.

Below is one of them. Introducing … Empress Ann.

And Lady Emma …

The names of these irises are so interesting. As a lover of words, I’ve always felt so. So, I took note of them. I think that should be my new vocation — naming flower varieties.

Now, this little frilly guy has a really funny name.

This one is Footnote. I really love its shimmery purple bottom and its white ruffly top.

These next ones are my favorites from this time … Santa’s helper. I’m not sure why they are Santa’s helpers. They are not red or green.

And this next delicate beauty must belong in the North Pole with Santa’s helpers. It’s called Baby Snowflake.

I’m not sure how these irises would feel about decorating a church altar. The name of this variety is Pagan Butterfly. They do look delicate and exotic, so, perhaps, that is the thought behind the name.

Starwoman iris — I love this intense purple and ruffly flounces.

Autumn Elf irises. These must belong in a fairy garden.

And my second favorite from this trip … Fantastic Blue.

Which of these are your favorites?

If you are not tired yet of irises, you should visit Cee Neuner’s page where she took some beautiful photos from Shreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, Oregon.

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