Afghan iris. I saw this flower open last spring. The blossom was furled in a tight, pointed whorl. I looked away. When I looked back, one of the falls had snuck out from behind the curtains, as if to say "Ta da!" with its tongue out. I vowed to stay and watch the pot come to boil. (My patience would be rewarded sooner than I expected.) As soon a gnat-sized flying something-or-another alit on the bud, the petals sprung open with a whfft and the minutest of tremors. Then there it stood, in pristine glory, sky blue and heaven-scented.
Oriental poppy. This treasure emerged last spring from the one-inch crack between concrete patio and concrete foundation, the product of my poor aim in scattering seed two seasons before. The petals are softer than tissue, but saved from preciousness by the edgy, contrasting, lush, weedy foliage. The purplish-black stamens undulate in the breeze like the tendrils of a sea anemone, guarded by Haman's hat. In twenty-four hours, the petals are gone with the wind.
Blackberry lily. I don't know why, but I think this flower's botanical name, Belamcanda chinensis, is indescribably luscious. The provenance of my garden's blackberry lilies is the garden right next door, courtesy of my neighbor friend's gift of a generous stalk of blooms gone to black-berry seed. All the seeds were meant to be scattered near the stand of Russian sage in the perennial border, but one must have slipped out of my hand right here, just outside the back door, where it took root behind a trellis container and, last summer, flowered more vigorously and more colorfully than its brethren (who keep getting elbowed out by the Perovskia).