It was while we were sitting in the sun that John mentioned that one of the lovely things about the bearded iris was how it could be passed from generation to generation. This one, he said, had come from his grandfather's garden. A clump went first to "number 28", the house he lived in. His mother liked a garden but was no gardener herself, so it was probably granddad who planted it. Then, when his mother moved across the road, John made sure that some were transferred there. When he started gardening himself for a living, more clumps were dug up and taken to the schools he worked at - in Stepney and Millwall. One year there was such an excess that he dug some up and hung them in bags on our railings with a label asking people to help themselves - slowly over the course of a week they all disappeared. And now another generation is flowering for the first time on the West Ham allotment blowsily blowing in the wind.
I hadn't really thought about it before. So exotic, such a journey, and surely more places to go yet.