Iris varieties used are 'outdated'

Irises pulled through the tough conditions to yet again prove a stand-out flower at the show, featuring in several high-profile gardens in a range of shades.

But Claire Austin, one of the country's leading Iris breeders and growers, lamented designers use of outdated varieties. She said: "I find it sad that a lot of the irises used in the gardens are older irises because I would like to see the more modern ones with better attributes.

"You see varieties like 'Ola Kola,' 'Indian Chief' and 'Jane Philips' being used. 'Indian Chief' is from 1928 and 'Jane Philips' was introduced in 1946. Garden designers do often seem to look at everyone else's' stands for things they can use. But there do seem to be an awful lot of irises. It's because they give the wow factor at this time of year."

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