Every garden or greenhouse should have bearded irises

Garden and greenhouse owners with a passion for horticulture should not ignore the bearded iris, it has been suggested.

According to the Daily Telegraph, growers should always count the species among their inventory of plants.

There are over 200 varieties of bearded iris, with one of the best places to purchase them at the Royal Horticultural Societys Wisley centre in Woking, Surrey, according to HomesandGardens.com.

Recognised by its "grey-green leaves, strong stems and fragrant, frilly flowers often in fabulous colours," the plant is a good choice for this time of year, the paper said.

Those located in a windy area should be protected from the elements, either by other plants or by growing under glass.

When the crops grow large enough to divide, older pieces should be discarded and plump, pale ones replanted in a sunny, well-drained spot.

The leaves should be trimmed back and the specimens planted with the top of the rhizome showing just above the soil, which should be rich in organic matter.