This hotly contested competition can quite brazenly leads to big sales in the event of a win, as we found when Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’ won back in 2012! As you can imagine, trying to win again is something we would want to put all our energy’s into!
We also need to make sure the plant is different, distinctive and represents a development in breeding. It can’t just be another new rose in a scarlet-red colour..! Amongst our early hopefuls were new colours of dwarf innovative Buddleja Buzz, plus the sparkling Delosperma Wow series, but would these make the grade?
So, we brought in cuttings from around the world and started off the plants well ahead of time. Plus, with the help of some top UK growers, we put all our efforts into that late May date. As we edged nearer towards the date of display, some casualties included Calendula Winter Wonders, which was uncharacteristically shy to flower. We also discounted a Gaillardia, which we didn’t think was different enough to wow the judges.
Once we had submitted the forms in early May, there was no turning back- these plants HAD to be ready. Part of the journey included taking a HUGE van across the Fens to collect dwarf Raspberry Ruby Beauty, and the towering climbing Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz.’ Their compost bag cushions paid off and they got back to base safely!