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During my trip to the north island of New Zealand last autumn, I visited the National Arboretum called Eastwood Hills - a huge hilly area 20 miles from Gisborne which has been planted up with an eclectic mix of trees from around the world.
A little over a year ago a charming horticultural journalist called Ambra Edwards asked to write an article about our National Collection of Water Irises. It was to appear in the prestigious magazine Gardens Illustrated in the July of 2014.
Probably the main requirement when holding a National Collection is to make sure the plant you are growing is the true plant. Having had the Astilbe collection for over 20 years the accuracy of the naming of the plants has often been in question.
Phlomis longifolia, var. bailanica is a very garden worthy species recorded as longifolia by Boissier & Blanche in 1859 with the subspecies bailanica being named by Vierhapper (1915) and Huber-Morath (1958).