Iris Langport wren

Irises galore this May

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22 May 2020

Stunning May gardens

The gardens are looking fantastic this month due to the good weather. Plenty of the plants in the gardens are in flower, particularly the foxglove tree, Paulowneia tomentosa, which has abundant flowers this year. The allium ‘Gladiator’ is looking great contrasted with the silver leaved Cardoon. I have unwrapped the bananas and started to put out the tender perennials. The irises in the Corten Infinity Garden are looking stunning, especially the Langport Wren (pictured), next to the burnished Corten. Another of my favourite irises is ‘Kent pride’ with maroon and brown tinged petals. These bearded irises will be followed by the black iris, Chrysographes. Irises perform very well at Pensthorpe and you will see many different ones throughout the gardens. The other flowering plants in the Corten Infinity Garden are the grevillea and the clianthus.

The Wildlife Habitat Garden is starting to fill out, things are beginning to grow with some early flowering salvias and the foxtail lilies now in flower. I have a real problem in this garden at the moment. Unfortunately a bunny rabbit is digging throughout the garden, causing havoc!

In the Wave Garden the spring bulbs are now all finished. All of the ferns in the garden are unfurling and revealing their lime green, tender foliage. It has not had much work during lockdown as my priorities have been elsewhere.

In the Millennium Garden, although we have had sunny weather throughout spring, we have had very little rain, so there isn’t a lot of growth yet. The wisteria looks particularly spectacular this year which has been helped by dodging the frosts. The first herbaceous plants are flowering, especially the eastern blue star, Amsonia tabernaemontana, with an electric blue flower. There is an awful lot of work to do in this garden for this year. There are plenty of weeds and lots of dividing to do and take out. Quite a lot of the grasses are being nibbled at by the greylag geese, which is quite a problem. I have had a running battle with a couple of Canadian geese who have decided to make a nest on the Millennium island. They have won the battle, so there is a lot of weeding to do on there, once they have moved on.

I hope you can watch all of my Sunday videos which we have been publishing on our website and via social media.

Photo credit: Jo Artherton.