The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year Award was first presented in 2010 to promote the continuing work of breeders and nurseries in producing improved new plants. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year Award celebrates and recognises the exciting and diverse range of new plants which are launched at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show each year.
Every year, for the past seven years, exhibitors at Chelsea have been invited to submit their new plant introductions for consideration and assessment by the Chairs of the RHS Plant Committees, the RHS Director of Horticulture, and the Curators of the RHS Gardens.
RHS Chelsea Plant of The Year 2016 – The Selection Process
On the Sunday before the RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens, a shortlist of the top twenty plants are selected from all those entered into the competition by the Royal Horticultural Society’s panel of experts, which includes the RHS Plant Committee Chairs, and the RHS Garden Curators.
Then on Monday – the day before the RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens to the public, the finals are held, when the RHS Plant Committee and forum members vote to decide the finalists and the winner of the prestigious accolade of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year.
The judges make an assessment of the level of innovation, appeal, excellence and impact that each of the new plants offer, and cast their votes accordingly. The assessment process and judging criteria ensures that the plant to which this prestigious award is bestowed is something very special indeed, often offering a unique or new feature to the gardener in the cultivar or genus that is presented. The RHS Chelsea Plant Of The Year Award is a wonderful showcase of the advances in plant breeding and of the exciting new plants that are available for gardeners to purchase. The 20 shortlisted plants are now, or will shortly be, available to order or purchase online and from selected nurseries and garden centres.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious of all the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Shows, this the perfect venue and occasion to showcase the most exciting new plant introductions to a world-wide audience. Visitors to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show can see all of the 20 shortlisted plants, including the finalists and winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year Award, in the Grand Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is held in May in London every year. Here’s a look at the top twenty shortlisted plants, including the finalists, and the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year Award 2016:
RHS Chelsea Plant of The Year 2016 – The Top Twenty Shortlisted Plants (in alphabetical order)
Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ (Rossano Series)
Named in honour of HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’, has striking flowers – the ray petals are a sugary pink colour, tinged with lime green at their tips.
Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ is a super cut flower, with a long vase life – lasting for six to seven weeks in a vase. Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte will also be sold as container plant.
Princess Charlotte’s Mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, serves as a royal patron for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). This charity, which offers a holistic and family-centred approach to care, ensuring that children, young people and their families’ needs are met, whether they require physical, emotional, social or spiritual support, will benefit from royalties generated by sales of Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ in the 2015/2016 season.
Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 by The National Chrysanthemum Society.
Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES (‘Garmemories’) (Garvinea Sweet Series)
Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES is a new variety of hardy Gerbera, which produces soft, warm, pink, semi-double, daisy-like flowers, which are produced from spring, until the first frosts, every year.
Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES is ideal for growing in containers, it will also do well in beds and borders. Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES is very floriferous, usually it will feature twenty or more open flowers at any given time. The pink and cream flowers look very pretty in the garden, they also make ideal, long-lasting, cut flowers.
Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES is a robust, hardy plant, that offers good resistance to pest and diseases.
Gerbera GARVINEA SWEET MEMORIES was displayed by Birmingham City Council at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Iris ‘Terre à Silex’
Iris ‘Terre à Silex’ is a mid-season, tall, bearded Iris, that features white standards with purple picotee edges, the falls are of a very dark -almost black from some angles – purple, and a bright orange beard rests on a white area with dark purple striations. On average there are nine to eleven buds on each plant.
Iris ‘Terre à Silex’ was bred in France, it was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show by Cayeux Iris.
Lilium ‘Perfect Joy’
Bred by Stuart Paton, in Hampshire, Lilium ‘Perfect Joy’ is the result of 15 years of intensive breeding work designed to create a bi-coloured pink and white flowered Lily that would grow well in Holland, as well as in other countries and climates.
Lilium ‘Perfect Joy’ is a large flowered Lily, with healthy foliage, it is ideal for container growing. Lilium ‘Perfect Joy’ has large, strawberry pink coloured flowers, that feature soft white flower centres – a lovely colour combination on one plant.
Nepeta × faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’
Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ is a new, compact variety of Nepeta, that features pale blue-lilac flowers – a new colour development for this species.
Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ has a long flowering season – flowering from May to August, it can be cut right back to ensure further flowers later in the season. This new Nepeta has more of an upright, compact and tidy, bushy habit than most Nepetas, you can expect it to reach 45cm (18 inches) in height. Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ has grey-green foliage, grow it in well drained soil, in a sunny position, that will receive full sunlight.
Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ is, like all Nepetas, a great plant to grow if you’re interested in encouraging bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects to your garden. Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ was bred by Sonia Wright, in Wiltshire, England.
Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud’ was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants.
Petunia NIGHTSKY (‘Kleph15313’)
Petunia NIGHTSKY is a new variety of Petunia, it has been awarded a Fleurostar Award by Fleuroselect, the international organisation for the ornamental plants industry. This new Petunia has been much admired since its launch.
Petunia growers are often looking for a new or different, novelty flower, Petunia NIGHTSKY is unique with its deep blue-violet flowers, embellished with white spots, which to some, resemble stars twinkling in the night sky. Petunia NIGHTSKY will certainly provide a talking point or conversation piece with it’s ever changing flower patterns.
Petunia NIGHTSKY is ideally suited for growing in hanging baskets, patio containers, and window boxes. Petunia NIGHTSKY has a naturally branching habit, it flowers early in the season – flowering from June to October.
Petunia NIGHTSKY was bred by Antonella Capo.
Phalaenopsis ‘Sunny Smell’
Phalaenopsis ‘Sunny Smell’ is described as UK’s first widely available scented Phalaenopsis hybrid. Fragrance is subjective. Certainly the fragrance of this Phalaenopsis would be far easier to detect in warm, sunny conditions, as the warmer temperatures and brighter light encourage the plant to release its scent. Sadly I was unable to detect the scent of this new orchid, in the Great Pavilion, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Phalaenopsis ‘Sunny Smell’ is an easy to grow orchid, it will grow happily on a window sill or in a bright room. Phalaenopsis ‘Sunny Smell’ produces attractive, warm-coloured flowers in complementary tones of yellow, orange and red. Phalaenopsis are long-flowering plants that make a welcome addition to the home when grown as a house plant, and a super gift.
Phalaenopsis ‘Sunny Smell’ was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, by Double H Nurseries.
Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’
This lovely new white form of Primula vialii was discovered as a chance seedling, in the Northumberland garden of keen plantsman John Holland. Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ was named for John’s daughter-in-law – how lovely!
Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ produces green tinged buds, which open to pure white flowers. The plant has a charming, yet fresh and contemporary feel, which would enable this new Primula to fit in perfectly in many different styles of garden.
Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ is a hardy, rosette forming, herbaceous perennial that thrives in moist soil conditions. Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ flowers in June, its clear white blooms reach up to 60cm (23 inches) in height. Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ is sterile, so this pretty Primula sadly won’t set seed all over your garden, it grows well in containers or in garden beds and borders.
Primula vialii ‘Alison Holland’ was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 by Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries.
Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Orakel’
Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Orakel’ was bred in Germany by Holger Hachmann. This new, resilient Rhododendron is hardy to -24 C. During late May and early June Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Orakel’ produces dark purple flowers, which feature a distinctive, blackberry coloured blotch. David Millais, of Millais Nurseries, believes this new variety to be one of the best purple Rhododendrons he’s ever seen. Height – 150cm – 175cm (5ft – 6ft) after ten years. Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Orakel’ will be happiest when planted in moist, acid soil, or good quality ericaceous compost, in dappled shade. No pruning is necessary, simply deadhead when the flowers have gone over. Apply fertiliser in March each year, and again after flowering.
Millais Nurseries displayed Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Orakel’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Rhododendron ‘Huisman’s Sun Star’
Rhododendron ‘Huisman’s Sun Star’ is a deciduous azalea, bred in Holland, by Tijs Huisman using seeds from Fred Minch from the USA. The resulting plants of which were then crossed to create this new Rhododendron luteum cross. This new azalea produces fragrant, double flowers in May. The flowers start life as dark, salmon pink buds, which then open to yellow flowers, which then fade to a soft orange colour as they age.
Rhododendron ‘Huisman’s Sun Star’ is hardy down to -20C. This new azalea is happiest growing in a sunny spot, in moist acid soil, or good quality ericaceous compost. Apply fertiliser in March every year, and again after flowering. When the flowers have finished it’s the ideal time to trim the plant, to maintain its shape. Rhododendron ‘Huisman’s Sun Star’ is a deciduous plant; in autumn the foliage turns an attractive pinky-red colour. Height – 150cm – 175cm (5ft – 6ft) after ten years’ growth.
Millais Nurseries displayed Rhododendron ‘Huisman’s Sun Star’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’
Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’ was bred by Tijs Huisman, and named after Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, the Dutch princess, who married the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, who is now the King of the Netherlands. This new Rhododendron has a very complicated parentage – a number of different Rhododendron varieties were crossed to create this special plant. This complex breeding program resulted in creating a new Rhododendron, that produces very beautiful, cream coloured, flowers, which feature a prominent red spotting over the lobes of its double flowers. Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’ flowers in mid-May, its flowers are both distinctive and unusual.
Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’ is hardy down to – 20 C. This Rhododendron has an upright habit; you can expect its height to reach 150cm – 175cm (5ft – 6ft) after ten years of growth. Plant Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’ in dappled shade, in moist acid soil or good quality ericaceous compost. No pruning is necessary, simply deadhead when the flowers have finished. Apply fertiliser in March each year, and again after flowering.
Millais Nurseries displayed Rhododendron ‘Prinses Máxima’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Rosa ROALD DAHL (‘Ausowlish’)
This new English Musk Hybrid rose has been released to commemorate centenary of the greatly loved author, Roald Dahl’s birth. Rosa ROALD DAHL’s flowers are a soft orangey peach colour, the new buds being blushed with touches of red, which reminded the breeders, and Roald Dahl’s wife Liccy Dahl, of the peach from Roald’s famous story ‘James and the Giant Peach’.
Rosa ROALD DAHL was bred by David Austin Roses in Albrighton, in Wolverhampton. Rosa ROALD DAHL is a very healthy English Rose with excellent disease resistance, a floriferous shrub rose, it flowers almost continuously, from early June, until the first frosts arrive. Rosa ROALD DAHL has a delicious tea rose fragrance, with a delicious fruity character to its perfume.
A percentage from the sale of each Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ rose will be donated to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, which helps make life better for seriously ill children in the UK. This rose will grow to around 1.2m or 4 ft tall and 1.2m or 4 ft wide.
Rosa ROALD DAHL was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, by David Austin Roses.
Rosa SANDRINGHAM (‘Beamolly’)
Rosa SANDRINGHAM is a new introduction to the Modern Classic Range at Peter Beales Roses; it has fully double, medium-sized, deep pink flowers, which are described as being heavily scented. Peter Beales Roses describe Rosa SANDRINGHAM as being a healthy, robust plant, with mid-green, glossy leaves and deep pink flowers with a wonderful fragrance. This new rose grows to about 150cm in height and 120cm width. Rosa SANDRINGHAM can be trained up an obelisk, a wall, or a pillar, and grown as a short climber if desired. Rosa SANDRINGHAM is suitable for mass planting or it can also be grown as a specimen, rose. Rosa SANDRINGHAM grows well in full sun, it will also tolerate a partially shaded site, where it will flower from June to July, this is a repeat flowering rose, that enjoys a second flowering period in September and October. Rosa SANDRINGHAM can be grown in the ground or in a container. Bred by Peter Beales Roses.
Solanum tuberosum + Solanum melongena EGG AND CHIPS PLANT
Solanum tuberosum + Solanum melongena EGG AND CHIPS PLANTS have not been genetically modified. Each plant is from the Solanaceae family, they are completely natural – the aubergine and potato are compatible vegetables from the same family, that have been grafted together, to grow as one plant. The aubergine grows above ground, and the potatoes grow below ground. You can grow the EGG AND CHIPS PLANT indoors, outdoors, on the allotment, even those without a garden can enjoy this novelty plant, because it can grow in a container on a patio.
Solenostemon scutellarioides CAMPFIRE (‘Uf12823’)
Solenostemon scutellarioides CAMPFIRE is a new Solenostemon that has been bred to provide greater vibrancy to container growing. With an upright habit, this Solenostemon keeps the colour of its warm orange foliage, whether it’s growing in full sun or partial shade – though the leaf colour intensifies when grown in full sunshine.
Solenostemon scutellarioides CAMPFIRE has been especially bred to flower very late in the season to encourage the best foliage display.
Streptocarpus ‘Amy’ was bred by Lynne Dibley, in Llanelidan, in North Wales. This new variety of Streptocarpus features deeply veined, flat-faced flowers in an indigo-purple colour with white centres, veining, and lighter purple highlights.
Streptocarpus ‘Amy’ is an ideal choice for a houseplant. It’s a floriferous plant, that produces flowers for eight months of the year in a very small space. Over fifty, deeply veined flowers can be open at the same time, on the strong stems of this free flowering Streptocarpus, which flowers continuously between March and October every year.
Streptocarpus ‘Amy’ was displayed by Dibleys Nurseries at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Zantedeschia ‘Nashville’ is a new bi-colour Zantedeschia, with a soft cream coloured centre, and a wide pink coloured brim, which deepens to a deep mauve as the flowers age and mature.
Bred by Dutch specialist Sande B.V. Zantedeschia ‘Nashville’ is a compact plant that grows well in containers, in a sunny, to partially shaded position of the garden. Plant outside once all risk of frost has passed, using free-draining compost. Zantedeschia ‘Nashville’ is drought tolerant and prefers to be kept slightly on the drier side, it doesn’t enjoy being in waterlogged soil or compost.
The Finalists of the RHS Chelsea Plant of The Year 2016…..
In third place……
Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY (‘Kercalsun’)(PowerDaisy Series)
Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY came third, in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2016 Competition. Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY flowers continuously from March to November, in all weather conditions. This new Calendula is virtually sterile, so it won’t set seed all over your garden. Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY is self-cleaning – as the petals fade, they drop off naturally, so you can enjoy continually fresh, vibrant yellow flowers.
Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY has a strong resistance to disease, and shows resistant to mildew. It’s tolerant of temperatures down to about -10 C. Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY is ideal for hanging baskets, containers, beds and borders.
Tim Kerley, who has spent more than ten years breeding this new variety of Calendula, claims that Calendula POWERDAISY SUNNY can give gardeners nine months of colour, with the bare minimum of care and attention. Tim shared his favourite trial report, which had been submitted by a grower, who explained that he had forgotten to pot the plants on: “They have dried out at least 10 times, they have been hit by the wind virtually every week, they’ve rolled around the floor, I think they have been run over by the forklift, and after this they have flowered continuously, and today they look as good, if not better, than when he gave them to me.”
Bred by Tim Kerley from David and Priscilla Kerley.
In second place……..
Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’
Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ came second in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2016 Competition. Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest was bred by Elizabeth MacGregor in Galloway, south-west Scotland. This new Geum has a long flowering season, it starts flowering while the frosty weather is still around in April, and continues flowering until about September time. You can prolong its flowering by regularly dead-heading your plants. Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ has semi-double warm, vibrant orange-red flowers, which are great for attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects to your garden.
Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ has the parentage of G. ‘Beech House Apricot’ × G. chiloense ‘Red Dragon’, it grows best in full sun, to part shade, in any good garden soil. Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ grows to about 50cm (20 inches) tall, and 50cm (20 inches) wide.
Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ was displayed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants.
And……… The winner of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of The Year 2016 is……..
Clematis koreana AMBER (‘Wit141205’)
Clematis koreana AMBER (‘Wit141205’) was awarded the prestigious title of the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2016!
Clematis koreana AMBER is a very special, fully hardy, Clematis, it produces soft, creamy yellow, double flowers from early May until mid-June, with the added bonus of a second, smaller flush of flowers in September.
Clematis koreana AMBER can be grown in a container, or in a bed or border, this Clematis thrives in any aspect, even in windy, coastal areas. Clematis Koreana AMBER is resistant to Clematis wilt – it’s a very easy to grow Clematis.
Clematis koreana AMBER grows to about 2-2.5m (6-8ft) tall. This Clematis is classed as being in Pruning Group 1 – it doesn’t require any pruning, making it easy to look after. Clematis koreana AMBER is a floriferous Clematis, producing creamy yellow nodding flowers that attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects to the garden.
Clematis koreana AMBER (‘Wit141205’) was displayed by Taylors Clematis at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Other articles that may interest you……………………….
To see the finalists and winners of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year 2015, please click here.
To read about The Festival of Roses and the Rose of the Year Competition, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016, please click here.
To read about how you can help hedgehogs and safely encourage them into your garden and neighbourhood, please click here.
To read about the new rose introductions for the 2016/2017 season from David Austin Roses, please click here.
To read about The Festival of Roses and The Rose of The Year Competition, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2015, please click here.
To see a calendar of specialist plant fairs, plant sales, festivals and swaps for 2016, please click here.
To read about growing gourmet vegetables, please click here.
To read my review of the Burgon & Ball Weed Slice, please click here.
To read about edible plants,which would be ideal to grow in the entertaining areas of your garden, please click here.
To read my review of the Trug Makers Hand-made Trug, please click here.
To read about terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.
For ideas on how you can save money whilst gardening, please click here.