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Matt Biggs' top 10 choice

TV and radio broadcaster Matt Biggs shares his pick of the new plants at this year's Chelsea.

My Chelsea stunners 

Rosa ‘Fighting Temeraire’

The flowers have all of the glorious attributes of JMW Turner’s famous fiery painting. With large, simple blooms and apricot petals that fade to tints of yellow, this vigorous hybrid can also be grown as a climber (David Austin Roses: GPC1).



Streptocarpus ‘Rose Halo’  

Dense clusters of flowers are displayed above large dark green leaves in a cherubic chorus of pink and white (Dibleys Nurseries: GPG7).

 Lilium ‘Lankon’ 

Much would be expected of a hybrid between L.longiflorum x L.langkongense and this lily does not disappoint. It is hardy, short stemmed and clump forming – a perfect addition to the flower border (HW Hyde & Son: GPE12).



Primula euprepes 

This spectacular primula with jet black flowers was collected in China after a collaboration between botanists from seven nations. Ideal in moist, well drained soil, it is clump-forming and flowers in spring (Kevock Garden Plants: GPH5).


 Erythronium ‘Hidcote Beauty’

Discovered at Hidcote Manor Gardens in 2005, is thought to have been planted by Lawrence Johnston. It has all the attributes you would anticipate from the genus – attractive leaves, soft mauve flowers and elegantly reflexed petals (Harveys Garden Plants: GPG21). 

 Cannomois grandis  

Restios were supposed to be the next big thing after grasses, but they faded away. New to Chelsea, the male of this elegant species produces loose clumps of golden young shoots and is ideal for windy situations. It may be just enough to start a revival (Churchtown Nurseries: GPD9).

 Iris ‘Discovered Treasure’ 

In the extravagant world of Irises there are some incredible colour combinations, and this is no exception. Hints of soft pink, tints of rich violet and contrasting bright orange - a masterpiece of iridaceous artistry (Claire Austin Hardy Plants: GPE6).



Sarracenia ‘Johnny Marr’ 

Here is a hybrid to make you appreciate the beauty of these carnivorous plants, with bright copper pitchers maturing to dark burgundy and flowers with pale pink petals. It was named for Johnny Marr, guitarist with 1980s band The Smiths who, like the plant, was the essence of ‘cool’! (Hampshire Carnivorous Plants: GPJ10).

Petunia Black Velvet (‘Balpevac’) 

This eye-catching ‘black’ petunia is the result of four years of diligent labour by flower breeder Jianping Ren. Recommended for pairing with lighter petunias to create a contrasting planting effect, this ‘love’ or ‘loathe’ plant will certainly polarise opinions (Class Gardens GPE4). 


Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

An elegant anemone with large, pure white blooms, held high above the foliage and boasting beautiful blue banding on the reverse of the petals. Its nodding habit in early morning and evening accentuates this attractive feature (Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants: GPF9).

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