Tip No.7 Wild irises abound on Costa Blanca mountains

Wild irises abound on Costa Blanca mountains and the cultivated varieties are excellent in any garden as in a sunny situation they flower and reproduce annually with relatively little care . Luckily we have what is probably Spain’s greatest collection of irises on the Costa Blanca . Called the Marnes Garden it is located near Pinos on the slopes of the Bernia mountain and is open to the public until the end of May. Although only started about six years ago it is already famous for the thousands of spring irises collected from all over the world plus it’s growing collection of sages. Until our visit we had not realised that iris plant breeders had been so active in producing new exotic blooms. Both sage and iris plants can be purchased or ordered for autumn pick up or delivery.

To visit the garden take  the CV749 that runs from the N332 just south of Benissa.  Beyond the small village of Los Pinos continue to the bridge with blue railings then bear right just off the bridge up a narrow road – there is a colourful sign but no arrow to the garden at this point. Continue for several kilometres until you see a wooden sign ‘Garden Entrance’ and parking is just beyond in the field on the left hand side of the road. The road to Pinos and beyond is windy and affords wonderful mountain views that wet your appetite for the amazing garden that awaits you. The garden is normally open from 10.00 until 18.00 daily from early March until the end of  May. Telephone 96-597-3520 for more information or to arrange a group visit.

Naturally irises are included in the list of practical plants in our book Your Garden in Spain – From planning to planting and maintenance.

© Clodagh andDick Handscombe April 2008.

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