Plant of the year 2013

A beautiful new mahonia has been awarded the Plant of the Year 2013.

New mahonia takes top slot

Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis 'Soft Caress' has been hailed the Plant of the Year 2013.

The judges were won over by its unusual, delicate ferny foliage and lemon-yellow, scented blooms. The blue berries that follow give  an extended season of interest.

Clematis 'Lemon Dream' came second place with large, double blooms and third place went to colourful Tropaeolum 'Fruit Salad'.

Low temperatures and a lack of sunshine meant several entries unfortunately failed to flower in time for the competition but despite this plant types from shrubs through to annuals are represented.

Winning plants

1st place - Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis 'Soft Caress' (pictured above)
Fascinating new form with unusual, delicate ferny foliage which softens borders. Bright lemon yellow, scented blooms are followed by attractive blue berries.

2nd place - Clematis 'Lemon Dream'
Unusually large double blooms of white with a green tinge and a subtle grapefruit scent. A hardy variety that needs no pruning and modest feeding.

3rd place - Tropaeolum 'Fruit Salad'
Compact yet vigorous nasturtium that trails or climb with support. Fragrant, bicoloured flowers are edible and have attractive serrated petals against dark foliage.

Others in the shortlist

Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Damsel'
Unusual pale cream colour and blue veined pattern, free-flowering for up to 10 months of the year. Best grown on a west-facing windowsill, kept slightly on the dry side.

Billbergia 'Hallelujah'
Among the easiest houseplants to grow, this striking form with burgundy and cream foliage is native to South America. It will grow well in good, indirect light.

Chive 'Cha Cha'
An unusual and striking form with a false inflorescence of mini-leaves instead of flowers. Hardy, edible and ornamental, it will grow in a variety of soil types and aspects.

Lathyrus odoratus 'Chelsea Centenary'
Bred as a multi-flora type with up to nine blue/lavender florets of on each spike. Blooms have a classic sweet pea scent.

Lavandula angustifolia PLATINUM BLONDE ('Momparler')
A new cultivar of English lavender discovered as a sport near Valencia, Spain. Foliage has a vibrant cream-variegation in spring and summer.

Lupinus nanus 'Snow Pixie'
White, hardy annual lupin bred for its repeat-flowering quality and sweet pea-like fragrance. Easy to grow and attractive to bees.

Strawberry 'Malling Centenary'
Hardy, early summer fruiting strawberry with excellent flavour, appearance and storage. Named to celebrate 100 years of horticultural research at East Malling Research station in Kent.

Leucanthemum x superbum 'Real Neat'
Pure white blooms have unusual spoon-shaped petals with a feather-like appearance. A strong, hardy plant enjoying well-drained soil and full sun.

Nepeta grandiflora 'Summer Magic'
A catmint with a compact habit flowering freely from May to October. Very hardy, likes well-drained soil and a sunny aspect.

Lilium 'Sweet Desire'
The first tetraploid ‘Tango’ LA hybrid (Asiatic x ‘Tango’ Asiatic) from Vletter Den Haan. This gives it extra large sweetly scented flowers of a yellow/cream with small, delicate burgundy spots near the centre. It thrives in any well-drained soil and is hardy to -14°C.

Lilium 'Zirconia'
An OOT hybrid (Oriental Trumpet backcrossed with and Oriental) which is an extremely strong grower with highly scented yellow/cream flowers. Grows in any well-drained soil and is hardy to -20C.

Diascia SUNDIASCIA ROSE PINK (Sundiascia Series)
A true hardy perennial. Upright large-petalled dark pink flowers are produced in profusion on tall stems.

Rosa DUNHAM MASSEY ('Beajelly')
Peter Beales Roses. Peter Beales Roses.GPD15.
Clusters of fully double, delicately perfumed candy pink blooms appear throughout the summer months contrasting with the mid-green healthy foliage.

Heuchera 'Thomas' (Fox Series)
Beautiful red-veined green foliage with large cream flowers on tall stems. Thrives in partial or full shade and can withstand drought or rain if grown in well-drained soil.

Clematis 'Kaiser'
Spectacular, deep pink rosette-like blooms flower freely on a compact plant which is happy in partial shade and rich, moist soil with good drainage.

Aeonium 'Poldark'
Multi-branching dark succulent which keeps its colour even in the winter months. Drought tolerant and low maintenance. Keep frost free.

Viola 'Windmill'
Highly scented, vanilla-white flowers have pale violet flushed top petals. Can be used as a cut flower with its tall, strong stems and long lasting blooms.

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