When we made our monthly pilgrimage to the wonderful gardens at Trentham for my “garden for all seasons” posts, we were particularly taken with the variety of irises on show integrated into the borders designed by Tom Stuart-Smith.
Most were the large flowered exuberant bearded irises but the more delicate demure Iris sibirica were there to be admired too. My first set of pictures are of the blues and purples and all their variations.
Blues and purples combine well with a variety of other colours within the flowers of some irises, with the uprights in a different colour to the falls.
Brown and yellow flowered iris seem to add real depth to mixed plantings in the borders. Some of the browns are very unusual to see in flowers other than iris.
The gardeners here had cleverly matched a clump of brown Irises with the china blue of Amsonias. What a great combination, but not one that springs to mind when designing borders but we shall most certainly remember it for future use.
In one of the display gardens, one designed in a Japanese style, Iris sibirica grows in clumps around the edge of a pool. They contrast well with the yellow of the Trollius in the one shot but compliment the glaucous Hosta foliage in the other.
We also found Iris sibirica growing within the Piet Oudolf designed borders working in a subtle combination with a Nepeta.
As we were on our way out of the garden we walked along the banks of the lake and discovered this lovely bright stand of our native iris, Yellow Flag. These can stop you in your tracks as well as any produced by plant breeders. They are always good to see and flower for a lot longer than their cultivated cousins. They present a most suitable finale to my tribute to the Irises of Trentham.