And so it begins. After what seem like months of bureaucracy we are now officially fully paper-worked up as the first plant nursery in Umbria to be registered for the sale of irises (and, yes, you do have to be registered). So, either this is a brilliant idea of ours, or there is a reason noone else has done it. Time will tell. Over the past couple of years we have been building up a collection of irises which I am pretty sure is, indeed, unique here. It’s not that there are no collections in Italy. There’s the world famous iris garden in Florence and in, Augusto Bianco, Italy has a world class hybridiser of irises. But neither of them is right here in Umbria. What’s more our collection doesn’t just focus on the most modern irises but spans a tremendous range, originating from many different countries, back to some very old historic irises.
It would be fair to say that if we’d had a proper business plan we might have realised that was not necessarily the way to start. We have something well in excess of 500 different types of bearded irises before you even get to the other sorts, but relatively small numbers of each. Whereas, of course, what we should have done is start with a small range, but lots of each. But we’re in this for the long term so we can be a little bit patient whilst our plants go forth and multiply.
We’ve planted up 16 large raised beds to display the stock plants. Around them we are building a display garden, which will show off the irises and, we hope, inspire visitors to place their orders. Here are some photos of this year’s flowering season, which was already spectacular. We plan to open the display garden to the public in May 2017 and we will be selling irises online (our website is under construction and I’ll publish the link here when it is ready). Our first deliveries of bareroot irises will be in August/September 2017. For more about who we are, see our About IrisUmbria page.