I attended Hampton Court’s incredible comeback show after a year off due to the pandemic, firstly to deliver my Weird & Wacky Plants Show to an audience of weird plant lovers, but also to look at the fabulous new and notable plants that make the flower show what it is.
There were many exciting plants on show, but here are 14 that really caught my eye:
The colours on this Rose are amazing, every time I see it I’m just enthralled. It’s not even particularly new, but it is of note. Do you know what, I didn’t even smell it, I was so busy looking at it LOL!
Hot Chocolate… Makes me fancy one.
How did I get to the grand old age of 41 and not know about this amazing plant? It’s very unlike the usual basket Diascia, this variety is three feet in height! I have to buy some, immediately.
I was at the Hardy’s Plants stand for a press call, but my attention was drawn to this amazing waterlily Dahlia in the borders! The colour has to be seen to be believed, it’s a really luminous red, and I’m sure it glows in the dark!
I think high-quality, named orchids are the next big thing. This mini beauty has very unique, gold bullion blooms. It’s a Phalaenopsis and you can’t fail to love… see what I did there?!
Okay, you need to stop and smell this particular orchid; it is one of very few Phalaenopsis orchids with fragrance. Just like Las Vegas, I think these niche orchids are the next big thing in houseplants.
Ooooh, just when we thought we had seen it all, we had a variety Mohican, then Hair, and now we have Art. It is bed head hair, for sure! What a fantastic addition to borders.
I think Tiarella will overtake Heuchera in the next couple of years as the focus shifts to their exotic foliage, coupled with striking blooms. What a spectacle for a shady corner.
I asked if this was a dwarf variety of Sambucus, and the owner said “‘not at all”. Well, looks are deceiving, but either way I’d take the bull by the horns and plant it, purely for that sexy variegated leaf!
Day lilies are so cool, and you can eat them too, imagine this one stuffed with ricotta! They are tough and resilient, and could even survive if you sat on them. Flowering for months on end, and looking pretty good all year round too!
And the prize for the most ugly plant goes to, Etna. Although, beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say. This super succulent is not necessarily new, but one that I want to buy ASAP.
I have mixed success with begonias, although I can’t resist having a go. I think this one would be happy; it’s not a diva like luxurians, I’m sure of it. Might give it a go, another one for the shopping basket.
Flipping heck, sometimes a plant just amazes you. This Heuchera is a total colour break in my eyes, and think about how you could use it in your annual pots, not just in borders with perennials… ooooh!
I don’t think these plants get enough love, and now I’ve worked out how to water them successfully, I’m super happy to embrace them. Streptocarpus for the win!
My brain is always whirring, and I was thinking how you could use this perennial in hanging baskets. Wouldn’t it look great? Copy me. Immediately!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.