Spring 2020 Update

This is a copy of the Spring edition of our twice-yearly newsletter. If you would like to receive this please do feel free to subscribe.

Events over the last few weeks have had and will continue to have a dramatic effect on us all. I hope you manage to stay safe and well. It is important to remain focused and positive and be clear we will get through this.

At a time like this our gardens become even more important. As Gardeners, we are always looking forward and this remains the same now, as it ever was.


I was accepted by the RHS to attend the Hampton Court Show but due to the outbreak and cancellations I will not be attending any shows for the foreseeable future. Please check our events page for details.

Garden Opening

I will not be opening the Garden in early June.

New Introductions

I plan to introduce four new Irises this year, two ‘blues’, a deep wine ‘red’ and a pure ‘white’. These will extend further the colour range on offer. All are cracking plants, do well in the garden and bulk up well. They each have great flower shape with the characteristic ‘Dodsworth’ branching.

Skye Blue Tall Bearded Iris

Skye Blue

Another great pure ‘pale blue’ and different from ‘Bryan’s Best Blue’, a little darker and shorter. My father used to sit in his iris garden and much admired this iris. A real ‘must’ for those who like ‘cool’ colours.

Wharfedale Award Winning Bearded Iris (UK Dykes Medal)


Another great ‘Blue’, different from ‘Bryan’s Best Blue’ and ‘Skye Blue’, deeper and more intense. This is a stunning iris, a Dykes Medal Winner in 1991, hardy and with good bud count. We have now made up sufficient stock to be able to offer it to the public for the first time.

Red Kite Tall Bearded Iris

Red Kite

A deep intense wine ‘red/brown’ and appreciably darker than the hugely popular ‘Red Pike’. Real ‘Velvet’ texture to flowers with characteristic branching. A stunning distinctive plant that goes well with other strong colours.

Iris Shaun Emmerson

Shaun Emmerson

This is one of Barry Emmerson’s new irises; pure white iris with modern space age blooms, upturned eye catching pale lavender beards and classic candelabra branching. It is a great addition to the Collection.

2020 Plant Sales

We continue to offer irises for sale online and send these out by post. So, if you need to replenish your iris beds or just need something new or different, please browse the collection. If you need more information [email] is the best and most reliable, but do please phone if preferred [telephone].

During the current conditions we will be sending plants out in batches once per month and please note that the sale of iris feed is currently on hold.

Please remember that we offer Iris Gift Vouchers and are very happy to send Irises to friends/family for birthdays/special occasions. This is proving to be an increasingly popular option.

Website Changes

In response to feedback from Customers we have changed the way that irises are listed. We now have three colour categories (‘Hots’, ‘Cools’ and ‘Softs’).

We show how varieties within the same group can be combined, and how they can be mixed with irises from another group, often with surprising results. For example, the pink irises from the ‘Softs’ can be combined to great effect with some of the ‘Hots’ (the oranges and reds); or the ‘Yellows’ with the ‘Blues’.

The ability to mix colours successfully to create real impact is enhanced greatly by having clear clean colours. Combine this with the exceptional flower form and branching (the hallmark characteristics of ‘Dodsworth’ irises) to create something very special and of real quality.

We have added a new category for ‘Irises with scent’. Some of our irises have amazing scent and in many different forms; the range is enormous from citron to chocolate.

Finally, we have included additional information and a filter relating to bloom season. Choosing carefully a mix of varieties from early, mid and late bloom periods allows you to extend the iris flowering season considerably.

Drawn to Name an Iris

I regret this has been delayed again, but will be made later this year.

Plant Care

A few pointers to help you this Spring:

Plant Hygiene

Make sure you have tidied up your irises from last year. Remove all old leaves from the base of the rhizome, cut out any discoloured leaves and look out for and remove any overwintered slugs, particularly the small black ones. This will keep your plants healthy.

If slugs are evident, use an organic product ‘Ferrimax’ approved by RHS or ‘Sluxx’, the product we use. Check websites for availability.

Examine rhizomes and make sure they look strong and healthy, cut out any rotten/’spongey’ rhizomes. Watch for any signs that leaves are ‘floppy’ or pale yellow in colour – this is usually evidence of rot. This needs to be dealt with immediately by cutting out the affected area and applying ‘Vitax’ or equivalent sulphur in powdered form.


Remember to give your irises a good handful of bone meal and work this into the ground around each plant. Do not use ‘Growmore’ or equivalent. Nitrogen will only encourage leaf growth and will contribute to iris rot.


It’s a good time to check the iris beds and remove any perennial weeds, and so much easier to do now than in a month’s time when the plants are much larger, and you risk damaging or snapping potential flower spikes.

Please see our full guide for further information about planting and caring for your irises.

Enjoy your gardening and keep safe.
Simon Dodsworth

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Phone: +44(0)7789 670 299

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