Large numbers of new plants are launched at Chelsea every year, and in the past it often seemed that some of the most interesting got lost in all the show hullabaloo. Now, with the Chelsea Plant of the Year competition, the focus falls more clearly on new plants – and there are two more newcomers (both finalists in this year's contest) that I feel are well-worth mentioning after those I highlighted last time.
It’s not often we see a new style in antirrhinums (also called snapdragons), but plant breeder Peter Moore – who introduced the well-known Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ among many others – has developed a new one that looks good for the garden and for cutting.
Pretty in Pink (‘Pmoore07’) grows tall and slim to about 24-28in (60-70cm) in height. It’s a hardy perennial, taking temperatures down to about -8ºC (16ºF) and it’s also rust resistant. Ideal in a border or a large container, its long, slender spikes carry nicely spaced, pink flowers with yellow eyes - and they keep coming from May to October. It also makes a long-lasting cut flower.
Whetman Pinks are the world’s leading breeder of garden pinks. From their nursery in Hampshire they have developed a large range over recent years, and their latest addition is the Cocktails Series.
Unlike many of their earlier introductions, these are all single-flowered – but the flowers are large and all are bicoloured. Tequila Sunrise (‘Wp15 Pie45’) has pale apricot flowers, prettily toothed around the edge, with a red ring around a richer central zone. The foliage is a lovely grey-blue that sets off the flowers well. And then, of course, there’s the scent...
Both these fine plants were finalists in this year's Chelsea Plant Of The Year competition.
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