Every spring I thrill to the emergence of the iris, especially the old fashioned bearded kind. The flat, sword shaped leaves are a wonderful gray green and always seem to have a halo of white about their edges. At this time of the garden season I usually tend to ignore the leaves as I bury my head in the scent of the flowers and only later, when I cut the dead flowers do I remember the beauty of the leaves. One of the things I love about the iris is how all their disparate parts come together. The tough scaly rhizome that you plant; the flat, triangular, tall leaves; the round stiff stock that supports the blousey flowers. It looks like it was designed by a committee. And I just read that it is considered a perennial herb. I never knew.