Janet Cubey, Editor-in-Chief of RHS Plant Finder 2013, says: "Compiling RHS Plant Finder each year is a mammoth task. However, the book is such a favourite with gardeners up and down the country and the reaction it gets is always so positive that it’s well worth the effort. The book also holds the key to discovering gardening trends early and always gives readers a bit of insight into what might be appearing in gardens all around them later in the year. Looking for new plants that have a large number of listed suppliers is usually good way of predicting which plants nurseries are really excited about, and is generally a good advance indicator of success." You can buy online from the RHS Books & Gifts Shop
The Award winning British bred Iris 'Early Light' is an absolute classic and a really good opportunity to enlighten readers with some additional information regarding its history.
The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1989, “The Dykes Medal 1989”, page 8, H.R. Jeffs.
'Early Light' raised by Miss Nora Scopes was, last year awarded the Fothergill Trophy. This year it pursued its victorious career by gaining second prize at Florence and now being given the Dykes Medal for 1989. This Iris was raised from a cross 'Cup Race' x 'Lemon Brocade' and has performed superbly at Wesley where it produces many spikes worthy the of the Josephine Romney Towndrow Trophy. A member of the public talked to me when I was judging this year and said "if I could only take away one Iris from the trial it would be 'Early Light'"and I was able to tell her she had excellent taste!
The stems carry upwards of eight buds and almost always four branches and terminal. Form is impeccable, and the standards are cream flushed with lemon, the falls slightly deeper and the beard yellow. It was selected for trial and registered in 1983 and gained the RHS award of merit in 1986. The height is 38" (97cm). Nora has been giving us fine varieties for many years and this award of a Dykes Medal crowns her efforts which cover so many sections of the genus.
AIS Checklist 1989
EARLY LIGHT Nora Scopes, Reg. 1983. Sdlg. 9/80A. TB, 38" (97 cm), Medium Late season Bloomer. S. cream, flushed lemon; F. slightly darker; yellow beard. 'Cup Race' X 'Lemon Brocade'. Dykes Medal,British Iris Society 1989.
'Early Light' is available in the UK from Claire Austin Plants, Potash Nursery and Seagate Irises.
A big hat tip to Judith Merrick, Compiler, RHS Plant Finder for the help with some additional information.