On my way to the North yesterday, I made a cheeky stop at BBC Gardeners World Live flower show, as it takes place as a special outdoor edition for 2021. There was plenty to see, and my focus is usually on the flower marquee, where I found a few very interesting plants, read on to see what they were…
Restio – next big thing?
I don’t understand why people are still focusing on the rights and wrongs of bamboo, when we have this amazing grasslike plant from South Africa to play with.
These are bred in Devon, and generally hardy, as long as they don’t freeze in the winter. They are quick growing, architectural.. they will look fantastic in a gorgeous container by my swimming pool. Yeah right!
BLUE Carnations – yep you heard that right!
I was agog when I saw this plant, yes it isn’t true blue, but a very, very unique lilac. It’s potentially the closest to blue that I’ve seen from any carnation, albeit those genetically modified ones.
These were quite a teaser though, because the plants aren’t available quite yet, however Calamazag Nursery were keen to show them off.
Coleus are BACK
The next frontier when it comes to houseplants is likely to be Coleus, I can’t remember what their name has changed to. However, they are glorious. I remember growing them from seed with my grandma when I was young.
They are drenched in colour, and you can see why breeders are making outdoor patio varieties as well. They do flower, and madly the flower is blue. That, of course, doesn’t really fit the colour scheme, so feel free to nip them out as they appear!
Gladioli in orange!
I seem to be obsessed with Gladioli, and especially orange ones, since I realise they would help my purple garden border to balance colour wise.
This is Prince of Orange, and I bloody love it.
Stokesia – seldom seen, always enjoyed!
I was very excited to see this plant at the show, it’s a long time since I’ve met it in real life. A really cool border plant, with aster-esque blooms in a really neat soft purple.
It’s a plant that is worth hunting down, although I’ve told you where it is now, so you don’t need to search far.
Sweet Pea Blue Shift will amaze you!
This is not your traditional sweet pea, this is psychedelic. It was bred in New Zealand and part of a project that was intending to create a yellow, no less!
The blooms change through a cacophony of colours, and look really really fantastic. If you only have space for one Sweet Pea…
Heuchera Bronze Beauty – biggest ever?
This big boy really caught my eye, I have never seen a leaf so big on a Heuchera. I’m told it’s one of the largest, and the leaves can get up to three feet in diameter.
This is getting into Gunnera territory!! I have to have it!
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 – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.