Plant Geek Choice - feature image

It was a huge disappointment for many exhibitors and patrons this year when the RHS was forced to cancel the Chelsea Flower Show due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is it an exciting occasion that we all look forward to, it’s also a very important event for growers across the world thanks to the RHS’ prestigious award presentations.

This year, we’ll be running a ‘Plant of the Year’ vote in honour of the annual award held at Chelsea. I’m encouraging you to have a ‘Plant Geek’s Vote’, which celebrates a fabulous line-up of plants on offer at QVC, which I will be showing you during my show Chelsea Celebration with Michael show on Saturday, 9th May at 2pm (see all my QVC show dates here). 

These plants are ‘would be’ entrants of the Chelsea Plant of the Year 2020. You can vote for your favourite plant using the form at the bottom of this blog post, and five lucky voters will be able to win the plant with the highest votes! The winners will be announced in a QVC show later this May.

*UPDATE: Voting is now closed. If you vote now, your vote will not be counted. The winning plant is Jacaranda Bonsai Blue! Congrats to the five winners of the competition, who have now been contacted.*

Agapanthus Poppin’ Purple

This evergreen perennial from Thompson & Morgan produces an elegant display of deep purple buds that open to reveal violet blooms, perched upon stiff, upright stems with slender, aching foliage. These long-lasting Agapanthus boast repeated blooms with a compact habit, adding gorgeous colour in borders or patios.

Find out more here.

Sollya Ultra Blue

This new variety of Bluebell Creeper from Thompson & Morgan produces an abundance of vivid blue flowers that bloom in the summer against a backdrop of slender, evergreen foliage. This half-hardy shrub makes an eye-catching patio climber and can be trained onto an obelisk or trellis to support its twining stems, and is best grown in a container that can be moved to a warm, frost-free location in winter.

Find out more here.

Rudbeckia Enchanted

These non-scented, semi-double Rudbeckia from Thompson & Morgan produce a multitude of blooms that gradually deepen in tone as they age, attracting pollinating insects. Perfect in patio pots or grown in beds and borders, they create a multi-tonal tapestry of colour that provide long-lasting interest in a summer garden.

Find out more here.

Fuchsia Skyrocket

Fuchsia Skyrocket from Thompson & Morgan, a free-flowering variety that produces red and white blooms, which open from dangling pink buds borne along the length of its stem. With its strong, upright growth habit, it can be trained to climb up a trellis, creating a waterfall of colour. 

Find out more here.

Verbena Bon Royal Dreams

Verbena Bon Royal Dreams from Thompson & Morgan features compact clusters of dwarf mauve-pink flowers that bloom throughout the summer and well into the autumn. The plant adds gorgeous variety and colour, and makes a superb choice for a wildlife area to attract pollinating insects into an outdoor space.

Find out more here.

Limonium Dazzle Rocks

This brand new variety of Limonium from Suttons produces a long-lasting display of purple flowers that are loved by pollinating insects. This ultra-hardy and extremely versatile plant brightens up flower beds and borders with minimal effort, and looks fantastic in decorative pots on patios.

Find out more here.

Jacaranda Bonsai Blue *WINNER*

These dwarf Jacarandas from Suttons produce striking purple, tubular blooms with light green, fern-like foliage. The versatile shrub provides exotic interest to gardens, and makes an ideal patio plant that performs brilliantly all summer before being brought inside for a winter display.

Find out more here.

Sedum Sunsparkler Wildfire

Sedum Sunsparkler

This ruby-red Sedum from Thompson & Morgan features succulent foliage that covers its spreading stems to form a dense cushion of pink flowers, drawing in bees and other pollinators. Quick-growing with a well-branched habit, this tough Sedum thrives in dry conditions and is a great choice for adding colourful ground cover, or planted inside troughs or containers.

Find out more here.

Buddleia Butterfly Gold

The Buddleia Butterfly Gold from Thompson & Morgan features bright yellow and green variegated foliage and mauve-purple flower spikes. Add vibrant colour and interest to gardens, as well as pollinating power for butterflies and other insects.

Find out more here.

 

 

Find out what it takes to win the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Award

The RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Award is a very prestigious, but cutthroat, award. Plant breeders can put years of work into creating the perfect plant, but be let down on the day of shortlisting by submitting a poor specimen that perhaps failed to bloom on time. For a plant to make even the top 20, everything must be perfect.

For plants such as the Hydrangea Runaway Bride (2018 winner) and the Morus Mojo Berry (2017 winner under the name ‘Charlotte Russe’) everything was indeed perfect, not just in the lead up to shortlisting, but on the week of the Chelsea Flower Show, too. In the end, the plants caught the judges’ eyes for their level of innovation, excellence, appeal and impact.

Plants submitted for this award often offer a new feature that was not previously available within their cultivar or genus. For the Hydrangea, it was the ability to produce flowers from every leaf joint – not just at the tips. For the Morus, it was the creation of a dwarf variety that fruited profusely and continuously throughout summer.

In conclusion, to win Plant of the Year, breeders must have a keen eye, dedication and patience, and a level of ingenuity that distinguishes them from the rest!

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Comments
  • Fiona Duncan

    Hiya Michael, i purchased 2 hydrangea plants from QVC 2 summer’s ago and they have never flowered, i do get foliage and then nothing, i have mentioned it to customer service but didn’t really receive a comment, ignored really, i water regularly and have a saucer underneath, i have no idea what colour they are, am i doing anything wrong ?

    May 9, 2020
  • Roger Tull

    I was lucky enough to visit Johannesburg in Oct’18 where nearly every road was lined with jacaranda trees. Absolutely beautiful and mesmerising. I couldn’t believe my eyes when this bonsai version appeared on QVC. I checked the website to read up on it and having decided to buy one the dreaded ‘sold out’ appeared ! I’m so annoyed with myself for delaying slightly. Who knew they would go that quickly ! PLEASE could you get them back if at all possible.
    In the meantime I’ll keep checking with fingers crossed … 🙁

    May 10, 2020

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