Iris eyes are almost smiling

Iris 'Jane Phillips'

A week today and we’re on site at the 2010 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. There’s more than a touch of tingling excitiment as we are looking forward to getting this garden created and ready to show off to the visitors and, of course, the judges! Last minute details are being poured over from what crockery set to dress the table with to how all the plants are looking. Jonathan is commendibly overseeing everything to do with the aviary and Maggy Howarth’s stunning pebble mosaic: the aviary is being painted this weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result!

This morning as I drove through Cambridge my heart had a somewhat large flutter when I saw some blue irises in full bloom in someone’s garden. We have Iris ‘Jane Phillips’ and Iris ‘Superstition’ in our Chelsea garden, being grown by Kelways (who are also growing paeonies and ferns for the garden). I know the ferns are looking good but a frantic e-mail on my return from Cambridge has gone to Dave at Kelways asking for photos of our irises. I’m really hoping they haven’t gone over! The picture above shows Iris ‘Jane Phillips’ at Brocket Hall. All our tulips at Jacques Amand are now in cold storage to hold them back: these will be the last plants we put in during the Saturday/Sunday before the show opens as any earlier and they will have gone over too much for the judges. Next week I’m going to see how the trees, hedging and shrubs are doing and I’m hoping that the beautiful medlars will be ready to flower in time for judging and show week.

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