Amazing plants on show
Take a look at some new and amazing plants at this year's show. We choose five favourites from a wide choice in the floral marquees.
Take a look at some new and amazing plants at this year's show. Phil Clayton, Features Editor of RHS members' magazine The Garden, chooses his favourite five plants from a wide choice in the floral marquees.
Finest yellow Crocosmia
Crocosmia ‘Paul’s Best Yellow’ was displayed by Trecanna Nursery of Cornwall and is perhaps the finest yellow-flowered selection of these popular, bulbous South African perennials. The plants on display reached around 75cm (30in), the pleated, spear-shaped leaves overtopped by panicles carrying masses of the brightest yellow flowers. A good plant for sun in a moist but well-drained position.
Gladiolous flanaganii is also known, rather alarmingly as the suicide gladiolus, due to its habit of growing in the wild from hard-to-reach cliff faces. Luckily for visitors to Tatton, Slack Top Nurseries of West Yorkshire had on show a superb plant displaying several of its distinctive, arching one- sided flower spikes, bearing blooms of a pale brick red colour. It is quite a compact plant, growing to little more than 30cm (12in), and well suited for growing in a pot of gritty compost, given some protection over winter.
Viola ‘Heartthrob’ is a plant new to both me and the RHS Plant Finder 2012-2013. It is a selection grown for its attractive foliage rather than flowers. The pointed rich green leaves are heart shaped and each has an arresting dark red centre. This plant would grow well in light shade and makes a good plant for the front of a border or perhaps for a container.
See the arresting Nicotiana ‘Chocolate’
Nicotiana ‘Chocolate’ is an interesting annual tobacco, shown by Hall Farm Nursery of Shropshire, and is particularly arresting for its large, open, rather nodding flowers, which are dark brown inside but have a green reverse. The plants on display were compact, around 30cm (12in) high, making them ideal for small borders or containers, particularly as a contrast with more vibrant colours.
Attractive Hydrangea Invincibelle Spirit
Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Spirit (‘Ncha1’) was displayed amid many other interesting selections of hydrangea on the stand of Brownthwaite Hardy Plants. This selection appealed to me for its attractive rounded heads of soft coral-pink flowers, held atop rather slender stems with soft green foliage. It would make a good contrast to well-known white-flowered Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and should thrive in sun or light shade in a fertile, well-drained soil.