An exciting event for gardeners across the country, the Chelsea flower show returns this week, back to its traditional May dates. As the largest flower show in the UK we will certainly be tuning in. Ahead of the opening day we thought it would be nice to take a look at a few of the ‘plant of the year’ award winners which we have in stock and a few Chelsea favourites which we see used frequently in the big display gardens. Since 2010 Chelsea has given an outstanding plant the title ‘plant of the year’. Some of these winners can be found in our own plant area;
2019 Winner - Sedum Atlantis
Sedum Atlantis is a plant that is drought tolerant, suitable for small spaces and attractive to bees. Its striking foliage forms rosettes of serrated green leaves with thick, creamy margins and tips that turn a pink blush in the autumn.
The new leaves emerge in a beautifully creamy white, before developing into an attractive green with striking white borders and gradually forming a half metre wide cushion of drought resistant leaves. To top it off, this plant then covers itself with a foam of pollinator pleasing yellow flowers from July through to September. Sedum Atlantis is a dramatic and versatile garden plant.
2018 Winner - Hydrangea Runaway Bride
Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ is a pivotal moment in the world of horticulture, as it’s the very first Hydrangea to produce flowers from every leaf joint, not just at the tips! Plants become laden with blooms, and hence have a wider range of uses in the garden, as the laden stems produce blooms like confetti. It can even be grown in hanging baskets or tumbling over walls and rockeries.
2011 Winner - Anemone Wild Swan
Thought to be a cross between autumn-flowering Anemone hupehensis and spring-flowering Anemone rupicola, ‘Wild Swan’ is an exciting anemone, which flowers intermittently from May to November. Each flower petal has a distinct grey-blue streak on the underside, so when flowers are in bud or half closed, they have a bluish hue, but open fully to pure white. Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is ideal for growing in partial shade, such as woodland gardens or beneath trees and shrubs. Deadheading blooms will prolong flowering.
Now let’s turn our attention to a few plants which are often used in those award winning gardens we so envy.
Perennial sages look wonderful in ornamental borders, producing summer-long displays of spiky, nectar-rich flowers. Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ is a clump-forming salvia, bearing masses of violet-blue flowers from May to July .For best results grow Salvia ‘Caradonna’ in a sunny, sheltered spot in well-drained soil. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage flowers into mid-autumn.
Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ is an ornamental thistle, bearing incredible, deep purple thistles on elegant, long, leafless stems, in contrast with spiny, dark green foliage. It’s a wonderful choice for growing towards the back of a sunny herbaceous border, and works well when planted among grasses and other tall perennials.
Digitalis purpurea is a native European foxglove woodland plant with spikes of tubular purple flowers with a spotted throat. However its cultivars appear in many forms, some dwarf and others very tall, with flowers in shades of pink, purple white and red, while other species contribute yellow or rusty brown shades to the range. It’s a popular biennial for a shady spot and looks fantastic when grown in groups at the back of a border. Its blooms are extremely attractive to bumblebees.
Stipa Tenuissima is a deciduous grass, forming a compact upright tuft of thread-like leaves, with narrow, arching, feathery flowering panicles in summer.
And finally not forgetting the well know suppliers such as David Austin Roses and Raymond Evsion clematis and their new introductions;
A new release for David Austin in 2021 was rose Nye Bevan - This new variety is a truly delightful English Shrub Rose bearing small-medium sized unusual open cupped flowers of soft yellow, which pale gently to cream over time. The scallop-shaped in-curved petals, are almost heart-like in shape and are loosely yet generously assembled around a central boss of golden stamens creating a soft, feather-like appearance. Borne in well-spaced sprays, the central petals of each bloom are deeper in colour, which is mesmerising especially during the spectacular first flush of blooms. It forms a very healthy, medium-sized shrub with mid-green, semi-glossy foliage and light myrrh fragrance.
If you are watching the Chelsea flower show this year, why not share some of your highlights with us in the comments section below.
You can shop all the plants mentioned above via our webshop for click and collect and home delivery. - SHOP