The world famous French iris nursery Cayeux has been showing irises at the Chelsea Flower Show for a few years ago. But, up till now, their exhibits have been disappointing.They grow their show plants in England and this year, for the first time, their irises were grown for the show by Woottens of Wenhaston in Suffolk - and the quality has improved noticeably.
As you'll see from my report on the Cayeux new 2009 introductions, they planned to have three new irises, all raised by Richard Cayeux, at the show. In the event, not all were open by opening day, but one of them looked spectacular.
‘Coeur d'Or', on a prominent corner of the exhibit, stopped people in their tracks. It really is a dramatic plant. The ruffled upright standards are pure white, the ruffled falls are the same pure shade but with a bold true blue edge with the white seeping into the blue. Then, in the throat of the flower, a golden flash - hence the name.
Derived from the similar but much paler ‘Elegant', which features a lavender edge, this is a good grower, with healthy foliage and just so dramatic. I'm told 'Nuits de Noces' and 'Bel Avenir' opened later in the week.
Plants can be ordered direct from Cayeux Irises or from their British agent, Viv Marsh Postal Plants.