Wav­ing the f lags for Jo

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - Front Page -

When re­tired main­te­nance en­gi­neer Brian Her­shey, from Maid­stone, first at­tempted to cre­ate a new deep blue bearded iris three years ago, lit­tle did he re­alise that it would lead to his Chelsea Flower Show de­but. Jamie Roo, named af­ter Brian’s six-year-old grand­son, now reg­is­tered with the Bri­tish and Amer­i­can Iris So­ci­eties, took pride of place in Jo Thomp­son’s gold-win­ning best in show ur­ban gar­den for the char­ity Thrive. Jamie Roo is the off­spring of a pale blue-white iris called River Avon, de­scended from the iris ger­man­ica grown since the 15th cen­tury and an un­named dark blue seedling grown in Som­er­set. Brian said: “I was thrilled to be in­volved with the Thrive gar­den. “It is a bril­liant idea to help peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to start gar­den­ing.” Jo’s Chelsea gar­den also used irises grown by Sue Mar­shall, who runs Iris of Siss­inghurst. Dusky Chal­lenger and Hello Dark­ness were show­stop­pers along­side Jo’s bold plant­ing that in­cluded Hot Choco­late roses and bronze fen­nel. Jo, from Mar­den, rang Sue as soon as she heard she had been awarded a gold medal and best in show at Chelsea. Jo said: “Sue danced round the kitchen be­fore ring­ing Brian, who was so proud and ex­cited.” There was no rest for Sue af­ter Chelsea. She has just spent the week­end at the Kent Gar­den Show, Detling. “We al­most sold out. Irises were ev­ery­where at Chelsea and are now so pop­u­lar. This is my sev­enth year in busi­ness and def­i­nitely the best so far.”

Jo Thomp­son, who won a gold for her dis­play at the Chelsea Flower Show

Jo Thomp­son’s Thrive gar­den

Iris Jamie Roo fea­tured in Jo Thomp­son’s Thrive gar­den

New iris Jamie Roo, named af­ter Brian Her­shey’s grand­son

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