The weather in Kent during late March and throughout April has been exceptionally dry linked to high day time temperatures. This is in marked contrast to the winter in this part of Kent. The bearded iris here at Iris of Sissinghurst have been encouraged by the abnormal temperatures to flower a few weeks earlier than expected. The short bearded iris were in flower by early April this year and very few were still in flower by the end of April. The intermediate bearded iris are now in flower, as at the end of April, and even some traditional early tall bearded iris such as Art Deco are in flower. Whilst the early flowering is unexpected the condition and beauty of these bearded iris are a delight to see.
The majority of tall bearded iris are showing rapid growth with buds showing a hint of colour in many cases. Iris of Sissinghurst has displayed at some early season shows, including Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Great Comp Gardens and Denbies at Dorking Surrey. Sue Marshall, owner of Iris of Sissinghurst, is now preparing for shows at Saltwood Castle on Saturday 7th May and at the Lambeth Musuem of Garden History on Sunday 8th May 2011. The following week Iris of Sissinghurst will be providing a display and selling plants at Lullingstone Castle on 15th May 2011. It is expected that the display will be mainly late flowering Intermediate and early Tall Bearded Iris. Because of the early flowering this year Sue Marshall is proposing to bring forward the open weekend to mid May. The date has not yet been decided but we will publish the details in the next few days. Watch this space.
This is the busiest time of year for Iris of Sissinghurst. Time is spent preparing plants ready for shows as well as responding to customers seeking plants via the in-line ordering process. Of course now that the bearded iris are preparing to flower it will not be practical to send bearded iris via post for the next few weeks. Based on current projections tall bearded iris will not now be available for dispatch until July 2011. However the early flowering of the short bearded iris means that any orders by post can now be made.