Report on BIS AGM 2017: 23 September, Coton Manor

Chairman John Milner with the Hon Secretary Jill Whitehead

The 94th Annual General Meeting of the British Iris Society was held at the beautiful setting of Coton Manor, Northampton. 26 members were welcomed by Chairman, John Milner.

Once the official business for the day was completed, John was pleased to present the following awards:

Jennifer Hewitt was presented with the Dykes Medal for the most outstanding cultivar in the Dykes Trial for her Siberian iris ‘Cloud Over Clee’.

Jennifer Hewitt receiving the Dykes Medal

Jennifer also received The Hybridisers Award which was instigated in 2011 in memory of Margaret Hall.

Jennifer Hewitt receiving The Hybridisers Award

John Mullen received The Pilkington Award for his hard work as the BIS secretary over the past year, recognising his outstanding personal service to the Society. The Souvenir de M. Lémon Trophy was awarded to Fred Raines for his IB ‘Canary Girls’ and Anne Milner accepted it on his behalf.

John Mullen receiving the Pilkington Award


Anne Milner accepting the Souvenir de M. Lemon Trophy on behalf of Fred Raines

The Foster Memorial plaque was awarded to Jan Sacks and Marty Schafer for their contribution to the advancement of Siberian iris. Fern Harden, who was also present, received the Randall Trophy for the most points scored at the BIS Summer Show. This trophy is usually presented at the Show, but sadly it was in hospital at the time.

Fern Harden with the Randall Trophy

A delicious lunch was served and members were exceptionally well looked after by Sylvia. In the afternoon members were given a real treat as Kit Strange from Kew Gardens spoke about ‘Growing Bulbs at Kew’. Kit looks after the extensive alpine bulb collection which includes numerous Juno iris and she showed members slides of these delightful flowers. The talk was highly informative and accessible and members took inspiration from the practical tips that Kit gave to her audience.


Throughout the day BIS members had the opportunity to go around the 10 acre gardens at Coton Manor. They were magnificent and in the autumn sun the numerous borders were shown off to their best advantage. We hope that members will be able to join us next year in Kent when the AGM will be held on Saturday 29 September at Great Comp Garden.