Even if it lags a little week of delay, due to the low temperatures of the fortnight past, the flowering of iris promises to be exceptional with a peak planned for this weekend. The opportunity for lovers of this wonderful plant to put on the eyes by following the road which, in the Loire valley in the Berry, through the Sologne region, they will discover his never-ending range of colors and fragrances.

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Launched three years ago, this circuit floral very original, brings together two producers of iris renamed, Cayeux, and Bourdillon, as well as seven splendid parks and gardens, almost all with the label “remarkable Garden” by the ministry of Culture. In total, nine stages spread over four departments that we can rally, its pace, two, three or four days.

“With a rate of flowering of 95%, the believed of 2019 is one of the best that I have ever known”

Richard Cayeux, a grower of iris

To Poilly-lez-Gien (Loiret) on the south bank of the Loire, only the bise, which blows on his nursery of 20 acres, is of concern to Richard Cayeux, a grower and breeder of iris for four generations. But, if they succumb to the gusts, flower stalks, richly garnished 450 varieties planted in the square presentation in the face to the offices of the company, do not break. “With a rate of flowering of 95%, the believed of 2019 is one of the best people I’ve ever known,” says he, presenting its champions. There are the latest variety, as Vicomtesse de Curel, a superb amoena white and yellow, which it is, rightly, very proud of ; the Domino noir, a rare award in 2014 at the Chelsea Flower Show ; a Delightful, prize-winner in Moscow, Florence and Munich ; or the well appointed state of the art, a late that the flowers are still in buds. Without forgetting the historical: My beloved, first getting house founded by his great-grandfather in 1906, Frivolity (1929), Tapestry (1962), Blue Gien (1977)…

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european market Leader in the creation and multiplication of iris, which he sells for half the export, Richard Cayeux happening at the moment a good part of his days pacing its squares of seedlings, noting carefully 15,000 individuals from crosses which will, perhaps, few of the titles sorted on the pane. The beauty of the flowering, without forgetting the perfume, are not the only criteria used: “The flower the top is to hatch first and then the bottom buttons should be well spaced so that flowering is spread out as long as possible”, he explains.

Magnificent specimen of ‘Dracula’s Kiss’ was exhibited in the greenhouse facilities Bourdillon to Soings-en-Sologne (Loir-et-Cher). Marc Mennessier/Le Figaro

In the sands gray of Soings-en-Sologne (Loir-et-Cher), which contrast sharply with the clay with flints of Poilly-lez-Gien, Pascal Bourdillon produced on 10 hectares of rhizomes of quality “with a beautiful hairy roots and an amazing calibre” that he proposed, also, to the sale live on the Internet or at the nursery. In particular, during the open house organized this weekend. Since 2012, his son Nicolas took over the breeding and hope to put soon its first new products to the catalog. “In ten years, the colors have changed a lot, notably under the impetus of the breeder australian Barry Blyth, who introduced shades of beige and orange, very original,” stresses Pascal Bourdillon, who also offers iris remontant, such as Immortality or I’m Back, whose particularity is to bloom a second time in the fall and, when temperatures allow, until Christmas.

Iris in bloom until Christmas Explosion of colors in the parcel of presentation of the iris Cayeux to Poilly-lez-Gien (Loiret). The floor with a presentation of the iris Cayeux in Poilly-les-Gien.

The floral park of La Source, Orleans, exposes the past three years a collection of nearly 100 varieties registered in the Conservatory plant collections specialist (CCVS) which is adjacent to the “blue sea”, an exceptional parterre of 1 800 m2 of iris offering all the shades of purple and blue states, or bi-color, similar to that of the domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire (Loir-et-Cher), the fourth step of the road. “The goal was to make the public discover these iris a few individuals, while making the garden attractive over a longer period of time than the traditional spring-flowering that lasts only six weeks,” explains Odile Roussial, head gardener. Earlier than the iris classics, they also offer a wide variety of colors and fragrances, but require more maintenance. “To rise again, they must be adequately watered and fertilized during the summer,” says Odile Roussial.

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At the time of leaving the capital of the region Centre-Val de Loire, a small detour to the field of Morchêne, in Saint-Cyr-en-Val (Loiret), allows you to discover a collection in free access 446 varieties of iris germanica pleasantly laid out on the beds in a spiral. Then cape town on the Cher. First, to Neuilly-en-Sancerre in the Garden of Mary, where the outbreak scented iris, expected this weekend, promises to illuminate the two acres of this Eden that Marie Marcat has passionately for thirty years ; and then in the enchanting setting of the castle of Pesselières which will be held on 25 and 26 may, the traditional festival of the iris, without forgetting the sublime floral park of Apremont-sur-Allier. Finally, how not to close the circuit in beauty with a visit to the area of Poulaines (Indre) with its path of water fringed with iris intermediate yellow, black and sky blue and its arboretum of over 300 species of trees and shrubs, some very original.

• Road iris: schedules and fares, until 2 June.


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