Cedric Morris was a prolific artist and plant breeder. He ran the East Anglian Art School in Benton End in Suffolk and it was here that he bred more than 90 different varieties of iris, many of which he named after his friends and pets including ‘Benton Menace’ which he named after his cat and ‘Benton Rubeo’ which was named after a parrot.
When she started her search for these irises only three were widely available and known about. However after many years of searching her collection now has 25 varieties of ‘Benton’ Iris and she is still searching for more.
Howard said: "Over the past 18 months every staff member on the nursery, from the lorry drivers to the packing shed and office staff has pulled together to make sure the entire display came off perfectly. They even called in the help of a local gardening group to wrap the flowers on the irises to ensure they flowered at exactly the right moment.
"Everyone’s hard work has really paid off for this project, not only did their stand win a gold medal but they have revived a variety of Iris which was nearly lost to the world. The real legacy of this project is that ‘Benton’ Irises are now on sale again, hopefully ensuring their popularity for years to come."
Benton Irises will be sold exclusively from RHS Wisley plant centre in limited quantities. They will become more widely available next year.