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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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Twelve new irises: From Cayeux Iris

Posted by Graham Rice on 26 Jan 2011 at 12:40 PM

Cayeux,Iris,Ciel Gris sur Poilly,Dominique C.,Hermès,Nouvelle Vague,Rose de Perse,Séducteur. Images: © Cayeux IrisEvery year Richard Cayeux, one of the world’s top iris breeders, releases a batch of his latest varieties through his nursery Cayeux Iris. I’ve featured his irises here before.

For 2011 Richard is introducing twelve new varieties, all bred on the family nursery in France and available by mail order to British gardeners. Many of them will also be on show at Chelsea. I’ve picked out six to illustrate (left, click to enlarge), check the Cayeux Iris website to see the others.

‘Apostrophe’ Delicate pale peachy pink, slightly pinker on the falls, the coral-coloured beards are extended by a curled “spoon” of the same colour. Strongly ruffled, with about nine buds per stem. 80cm/32in

‘Charlie’ Pure white standards and large pinkish purple falls with a bold white heart, contrasted against the orange-yellow beards. Moderately ruffled and with excellent branching. 95cm/37in

‘Ciel Gris sur Poilly’ (see image, click to enlarge) Mid-grey standards, the golden yellow beards light up the grey of the nearly horizontal falls. A delicate and unusual colour combination. 80cm/32in

‘Dame de Coeur’ The colours hover between plain pink amaranth and light raspberry red, becoming paler under the tangerine beards. Beautifully shaped flowers with ruffled edges and nine to ten buds per stem. 90cm/36in

‘Dominique C.’ (see image, click to enlarge) Pure bright yellow standards, white falls with a wide yellow border creeping towards the centre and with a golden yellow beard. 80cm/32in

‘Faïence de Gien’ Pure white standards contrast dramatically with the velvety darkest violet falls, nearly black when the flower first opens, sparked by deep yellow beards. 75cm/30in

‘Hermès’ (see image, click to enlarge) Rich copper red, delicately ruffled at the edges, and with beautiful tangerine beards. Branched stems carry about eight buds. Named for the French fashion house. 80cm/32in

‘Magnétisme’ Sumptuous flowers with sky blue standards and satiny dark violet falls and dark rusty orange beards, shouldered with amaranth. Branches low on the plant and very prolific. 85cm

‘Ma Pomme’ Wide rounded flowers, strongly and evenly ruffled, in a lovely shade of pinkish apricot with tangerine beards as highlights. 80cm

‘Nouvelle Vague’ (see image, click to enlarge) White standards with a touch of lavender on their edges, the wide white falls have a crisp amethyst border and coral beards. 85cm

‘Rose de Perse’ (see image, click to enlarge) Pure pink standards and pale pink falls with a wide pinkish purple border, streaked with pale pink, and coral-red beards. About nine buds per stem. 85cm/33in

‘Séducteur’ (see image, click to enlarge) White standards are faintly flushed with blue, especially on the edges, the pure white falls have a crisp lavender blue border and bright red beards. 75cm /30in

You can order these new irises at the English language Cayeux Iris website.


Rona said:

I tried really hard to order Cayeux irises. Cayeux took the money, sent no plants, and ignored all my emails. I phoned and there was no-one there who spoke English despite claims to the contrary on the website.

Doesn't matter how good the plants are if they take the money and run.

on 31 Oct 2011 at 03:55 PM

Graham Rice said:

That's shocking, Rona. I've emailed Cayeux myself and asked them to respond.

on 01 Nov 2011 at 11:11 AM

Anne said:

We are very surprised to hear of Rona's experience and have contacted her directly to sort it out ASAP. We really don't understand it at all. The office phone at Cayeux is only ever answered by  the secretary and Richard Cayeux, both of whom speak perfectly good English and we also have a dedicated freephone line from the UK (0800 096 4811) which is answered by an extremely conscientious lady who is totally fluent in four languages and always returns messages if someone leaves one on the answer-phone! Rona can rest assured that whatever happened to her order, it will be replaced next season if she wishes or she can be refunded. We pride ourselves on our personal service and are most distressed to hear of this experience from a customer.

Anne Williams for Cayeux Iris, France.

on 03 Nov 2011 at 07:41 AM

Graham Rice said:

Thanks for your response, Anne. And please, Rona and Anne, be sure to follow up with a Comment here to sum up how this all pans out.

on 03 Nov 2011 at 12:21 PM

Rona said:

Graham - many thanks! You succeeded where all else failed.

Will let you know what happens but at least they have made contact at last after 4 months of being ignored.

A dedicated freephone from UK is no good from USA; the number given on the website as the international number was the one I dialled on Monday - it was answered by a man who spoke no English and passed to a woman who spoke no English. I have enough French to understand that the secretary, who does speak English, would be in on Wednesday. I repeat, there was no-one there who spoke English despite claims to the contrary on the website.

on 03 Nov 2011 at 01:58 PM

Rona said:

Got a bulleted list of what went wrong - would have preferred an apology - and a suggestion we fax them our bank details so they can refund. Their fax machine didn't work. My husband fired off an extremely angry email, demanding they phone him. A very embarassed lady phoned him, explained why there were no English speakers that day, and said she will refund our money (less the bank international transfer fee, of course). They said if we order from them next year they'll give some irises extra in compensation - so no compensation, then. Love their irises, couldn't go through this again to get a free plant or two.

on 04 Nov 2011 at 05:57 PM

Anne said:

It turned out for some unknown reason her email was blocked by our server as SPAM, so we never received her emails enquiring as to what had happened to her order. Had we done so we would of course have responded to her promptly. Our office was closed 31st Oct and 1st Nov due to a Bank Holiday - two people who are not part of the normal secretarial staff were working in the office those days, so we apologise that there was no one who spoke English when she phoned. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this customer has suffered.

Anne Williams for Cayeux Iris.

on 10 Nov 2011 at 09:36 AM