There’s been a great deal of discussion about the winner of this year’s Chelsea Plant of The Year award, Viburnum Kilimanjaro Sunrise (‘Jxx5’), and the two runners up, Streptocarpus ‘Polka-Dot Purple’ and Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’. But what about the other 17 plants that were on the shortlist and the other new plants that were unveiled at the show?
Some of these I’ve already discussed here on the blog including the invaluable new dwarf, spine-free patio raspberry Ruby Beauty (‘Nr7’), the hardiest foliage begonias so far, Garden Angels, and the new Rehmannia hybrid Walberton’s Magic Dragon (‘Walremadra’). But there are more worth looking at.
Bearded irises made a big impact at the show, especially on the Gold Medal winning exhibit from Cayeux Iris. They have some exciting newcomers for this year, some of which were on display. ‘Bientot l’Ete’ looks especially lovely with eight buds per stem and ruffled flowers with yellow standards and blue and white falls. And I also liked ‘Poivre Rouge’ (above) which is yellow, with the falls streaked and speckled in rusty brown.
Back to the fuchsia
A few years ago Thompson & Morgan resurrected the old ‘Lady Boothby’ fuchsia, first seen in 1939. This is an extra vigorous upright variety that can be tied in and used as a climber. Since then, T&M’s wizard plant breeder Charles Valin has been working on similar varieties in new colours and ‘Pink Fizz’ is the first of them.
‘Pink Fizz’ (right) flowers from June to September from every leaf joint up the stem, mature plants producing as many as 2,000 flowers through the summer. “Pink” seems a little optimistic, it’s certainly paler than ‘Lady Boothby’ but, as you can see in the picture, the flowers have red petals and a purple skirt. It still makes an impressive feature.
Both these fine plants were finalists in this year's Chelsea Plant Of The Year competition.
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