The last few weeks have been very busy, as usual, at the nursery Iris of Sissinghurst. During late April, May and early June each year the nursery is at its busiest, preparing plants for shows and responding to interest from customers about iris plants. The highlight of each year tends to be the preparation and participation in the Chelsea Flower Show. This year has been no different. Sue Marshall supplied plants for Show Gardens as well as the Cayeux display in the main marquee.The weather conditions this year have been particularly difficult for bearded iris and there was some doubt, just a few days before the Chelsea Show started, if there was to be sufficient bearded iris in flower, to a high standard, to merit display. The fickle nature of the British weather saw the continous daily bouts of rain and overcast skies in the south east of England change into bright warm days just as the Show was to begin. This allowed the bearded iris to flower just in time. The Cayeux display was awarded a silver medal by the judges. The display included a number of new varieties for this season and attracted large numbers of interested spectators. Iris of Sissinghurst will have many of the varieties displayed available from its stock.
The Show Gardens this year, at Chelsea, lacked the colourful range of plants and flowers normally anticipated because of the early spring weather conditions. Gardeners across Britain would have noticed that this year expected flowering dates have been delayed in most gardens.
Sue Marshall, owner of Iris of Sissinghurst, expects bearded iris, to have short flowering periods this year because of the weather conditions. Iris lovers should not worried if this happens. The plants are probably quite healthy but are just responding to the growing conditions experienced.