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National Collection of irises to be opened to Norfolk public in rare open day

PUBLISHED: 15:08 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 07 June 2018

The National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises. Picture: The English Iris Company

The National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises. Picture: The English Iris Company

The English Iris Company

The country’s National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises will be on view to the public for the first time in over two years this month.

The National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises. Picture: The English Iris CompanyThe National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises. Picture: The English Iris Company

The garden in North Walsham was last opened to the public in 2016, providing a rare opportunity to horitcultural enthusiasts to see a collection of country-wide importance.

The garden is owned by founder of the Enlish Iris Company Simon Dodsworth, who has been transferring the blooms from his late father’s Nottinghamshire garden since his father’s death in 2009.

Mr Dodsworth said: “During his lifetime my father was awarded the prestigious UK Dykes Medal (the Oscar of the Iris Hybridisers) for Iris Hybridising twelve times; no one had previously won the medal more than four times in its ninety year history.

“We have the named varieties and a garden full of unregistered seedlings - his amazing legacy.”

The National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises. Picture: The English Iris CompanyThe National Collection of Tall Bearded Irises. Picture: The English Iris Company

The open garden will take place on June 15 and 16, in aid of Mundesley Inshore Lifeboat.

Mr Dodsworth added: “The weather has been against us this year, incredibly wet and cold, the very hot, followed by over two inches of rain last Saturday. The irises have coped, and there will still be some in flower in time for the Open Days.”

The garden was featured on BBC TV’s Gardeners World in July 2016.

Mr Dodson continued: “I set up the English Iris Company with Barry Emmerson who was mentored by my father for twenty years, in 2013 to promote interest in British Tall Bearded Irises.

“We have started exhibiting at RHS Shows for the first time in 2017 and attended the Spring and Orchid Show in March 2017 and Chatsworth in June 2017.

“I will be exhibiting at the Hampton Court Show in July 2018 for the first time with a ‘Lindley’ exhibit in the Floral Marquee explaining how to grow Tall Bearded Irises.”

Mr Dodson has now started his own hybridising, examples of which will be on show.

The event is taking place at 24 Marshgate, North Walsham, NR28 9EF.


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