RHS Garden Rosemoor in Torrington has welcomed the gift of a national collection of water irises

MORE than 40 different water irises, including some unusual cultivars, have been given to RHS Garden Rosemoor, in Torrington, to establish a new National Plant Collection at the garden.

Another collection of around 50 varieties of Iris ensata will also be donated.

John and Galen Carter, of Rowden Gardens in Devon, have bred and developed the collection for many years, attaining National Plant Collection status for it.

As they near retirement, the couple have donated their collection to RHS Garden Rosemoor to share it with the public and ensure its continuation.

The full collection of irises will be established in Rosemoor over the next couple of years, but visitors can already see 20 selections at the entrance to Rosemoor’s spectacular Bicentenary Arboretum.

Jon Webster, curator of RHS Garden Rosemoor, said: “As a charity, the RHS is committed to demonstrating the very best in gardening, so it is a great privilege to be given this unique, locally bred collection. We’re really looking forward to being able to share these fantastic plants with the public as the collection gets established at Rosemoor and hope that they will provide much enjoyment for many years to come.”

RHS Garden Rosemoor already holds the National Plant Collections for holly and dogwood.