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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

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Sparkling irises from France

Posted by Graham Rice on 28 Feb 2009 at 01:00 PM

New from Cayeux Iris. Image: Cayeux IrisCayeux Iris have a four generation history of introducing new irises and every year they launch new varieties, many of which are seen in Britain for the first time at the Chelsea Flower Show.

For 2009 they have nine new introductions, all bred by Richard Cayeux at the family's nursery in Central France, three of which will be unveiled at Chelsea - I'll tell you about them nearer the time.

But for the other six (click on the picture to enlarge it), the main theme seems to be dramatic colour combinations. And it's those sparkling colours which make these prolific irises such valuable plants for combining with Oriental poppies in the early summer garden.

An amazing 27% of all the irises in the Cayeux catalogue are from their own breeding and, as Richard selects from the thousands of seedlings he raises each year in the search for something special, he not only looks for well formed flowers in captivating colours. Plants must also be robust, wind resistant, long flowering and able to thrive with minimal summer watering. My picture shows six of his 2009 newcomers:

‘Cocktail' - with densely veined falls and prettily ruffles standards.
‘Dyonisos' - very free flowering and well branched.
‘Folie Douce' - a unique colour combination.
‘Garnement'- dramatic colour contrasts.
‘Java Bleue' - even the beard is deep blue.
‘Petit Caprice' - gently waved in a cheerful contrast.

Plants can be ordered direct from Cayeux Irises or from their British agent, Viv Marsh Postal Plants.

For more on Cayeux Irises go to my post from May 2008.



Dermot said:

But their displays at Chelsea are never up to much, are they. They never get much of an award.

on 03 Mar 2009 at 07:56 PM