allotments community gardening garden photography gardening hardy perennials photography Shropshire

Incredible Iris

Early summer sunshine is the best time to see irises and appreciate their beauty. The brightness of colours illuminated by the sun gives them an ethereal quality that no other flowers possess.

A journey around our garden and our allotment site with camera in hand tells all there is to say. The first set shows the irises on our “Beth Chatto Garden”, the gravel bed, where they find the conditions ideal. They can sunbathe for hours!

The borders in the back garden are generally too densely planted for Bearded Iris to thrive, but we do grow Dutch iris as cut flowers and Iris sibirica, the bearded’s more subtle cousins. Our Dutch Iris are unusually coloured, one in a combination of blue and yellow and the other a combination of purple and brown with bright yellow centres. We grow them underneath our stepover apples.

Iris sibirica are tall, slim and delicate, and send up masses of flowers in various shades of blue. They develop large clumps in just a few years so need regularly dividing but friends enjoy receiving the offsets.

On our allotment site several plot holders grow Bearded Iris on their plots and we have planted groups of Iris sibirica in the community gardens.