Plants of the RHS Urban Show

In a show packed with plants from tiny terrariums to towering trees, some stand out from the floral crowd

Anthurium in among planting on the Beginner Buddies cube at the RHS Urban Show
Anthuriums were the plant of the show. Peeking out of mixed planting displays such as the Beginner Buddies content cube (above) and standing alone as one of the moisture-loving plants recommend in the Happy Houseplants installation. Grow  Anthurium crystallinum AGM  in bright, indirect light, using an acidic potting mix of two parts ericaceous peat-free compost, one part perlite and one part orchid bark. Sit them on a tray of moist pebbles to keep the humidity high.

Moss and life cycle at the RHS Urban Show

At the RHS Urban Show moss was rebranded from lawn menace to the latest must-have botanical collector’s item. Seen in the Moss and the life cyle and Logarithm installations, individual varieties could be bought from the Moss Clerks stand. With a Get Started Garden dedicated to moss at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival later this year, mosses are going to be the next big thing, watch this space.

Tillandsia usneoidesAir plants are an ideal low-maintenance high-impact plant and none more so than Tillandsia usneoides. Seen throughout the RHS Urban Show, providing a contrasting foil for the Orchid on the RHS Orchid trials exhibit, or starring in their own right on the Blue Diamond stand. Bijal Mistry, who designed the stand based on his own plant-packed flat, says the easy-care nature of Spanish moss makes it an ideal choice. All it needs is regular misting but, says Bijal, vary how much to mist based on where in your home the moss lives. In a dry room, it’ll need misting 3 to 4 times a week. Hanging in a bathroom, just a quick spray once a week will do.

Carex oshimensas 'Evergold'

Emma Tipping, designer of the RHS MEN Pub Garden picked out Carex oshimensas ‘Evergold’ as her favourite on the garden. As underplanting to dogwoods and euphorbias, providing a splash of light among deep green ferns. Reliable and hardy it’s a hardworking evergreen sedge with plenty of year-round interest.

Prunus 'Ichiyo'

Jason Williams went to great lengths to get the Prunus ‘Ichiyo’ on to his shade patio. ‘I saw it and fell in love, I just had to have it, it’s absolutely exquisite.’ He had to change the whole design with a new colour palette, but it was worth it.

Editor of The Garden magazine Tom Howard chose Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ PBR as his top plant of the Show. Used in the Chase garden designed by Tom Massey, they provided the perfect underplanting for Prunus Padas ‘Colorata’, which was the designer’s pick. Ethnobotanist James Wong also chose a tree, but he went for the majestic Pinus sylvestris in Nathan Webster’s RHS Urban Forest.

Shade-tolerant plants were celebrated in this show for urban gardeners, where access to light can be a struggle among tall buildings and high fences. Tiarella and Hellebores shone out from many planting arrangements.

Tiarella and Hellebores at the RHS Urban Show
The outside in trend was everywhere at the show, Monstera and Transedcantia featuring equally as houseplants and in borders. Traditional reliable houseplants, such as the three celebrated on the Beginner Buddies content cube – Sansevieria (snake plant), Chlorophytum (spider plant) and Epipremnum (pathos) – there were also more challenging plants to try such as, the rose grape, Medinilla magnifica.

Rose grape

They will be happy in bright, indirect light in a humid environment, so avoid placing near a radiator and mist the foliage with water regularly. They may need a bit more attention than some indoor plants, but the spectacular display of blloms is well worth the effort.

The RHS Urban Show runs until Sunday 21 April, so there’s still time to get to Depot Mayfield in Manchester and fill your urban garden, balcony or shelf with lots of botanical delights, with advice on how to look after them, straight from the grower.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.