Here’s the plant that my husband looks forward to all year. It’s the bearded iris that grew in his father’s large school house garden in Bradford. Some of the rhizomes found their way to the Yorkshire Dales, home of my brother-in-law, then eventually to us here in the Waveney area of Suffolk where it has multiplied.
I recently did a feature on the wonderful irises of Woottens of Wenhaston for the Suffolk Magazine and finally learned a few basics from the dynamic duo that now runs the place Luci Skinner and Gillian Morris. The main thing is that the shoots growing out of the side of your rhizome are your new flowering rhizomes so you can discard that tough old middle bit and replant the new ones. You should do this every 3-5 years, says Gillian. And of course, there’s the way of planting that leaves the rhizome exposed for baking in the sun or being frosted in the colder months.
Otherwise, it’s easy and rewards you with sensation and flamboyance before the crescendo of late spring and summer blooms.