RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade

RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade

Today the Royal Horticultural Society launched a competition inviting the public to vote to decide the winner of the prestigious accolade of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade.  The nominated plants are all winners of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition.  Here are the nominees……

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ has a long flowering period; plants bloom intermittently from late spring until autumn.

Back in 2010, Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ ‘Macane001’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition.  Today, this Anemone is still in demand, thanks to the plant’s distinctive flowers and its prolonged flowering season.

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is a fascinating plant that looks good from every angle.

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ was raised in Scotland by Elizabeth MacGregor.  This celebrated Anemone produces large flowers, which open in the morning to reveal the petals’ white faces.  As the day ends, the blooms close, when the flowers form nodding bells that take on the ashy mauve colour from the back of their petals.  At dusk, Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ flowers stand rather shyly, waiting for morning to arrive, when the blooms stand up proudly and open up again.

Plants bloom on and off from May until November, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ flowers.  Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ plants grow up to 60cm (2ft) tall; plants form clumps that extend to around 45cm (1.5ft) wide.

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ flowers are accessible to bees and pollinating insects.

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is available from many nurseries, including Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery and Hayloft.

Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White

Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White (‘Ushydo405’) was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition in 2018.

Many Hydrangeas produce blooms at the end of each stem; however this new Hydrangea produces flowers all along its branches, with blooms appearing at every pair of leaves.  This creates a profusion of white flowers (often flushed with pink) that are dispersed evenly, all over the shrub.   The overall effect this Hydrangea exudes with its lacy looking flowers is feminine and bridal, so this plant’s name is very apt!

Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White blooms from late spring until autumn, creating a long-lasting floral display in the garden.  This plant creates a lovely impact with its flowers, but in order to bloom for such an extended period, plants will need to be grown in fertile soil and watered in dry weather.  Mulching can really improve a plant’s growing conditions – it’s something I’d really recommend.  Plant Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White in any moist but well-drained, fertile soil.  Water your Hydrangea an hour or two before you plant it.  Apply mycorrhizal fungi to your plant’s roots and water after planting.  Next, apply a layer of good quality, peat-free compost as a mulch around your plant.

Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White is a hardy deciduous shrub; this plant will be very happy growing in an area that enjoys sunshine or partial shade.  Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White grows to around 1.2m (4ft) tall; plants extend to cover the same area widthways.

Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White is available from Van Meuwen, as well as from other nurseries and suppliers.

Clematis koreana Amber

Clematis koreana AMBER (‘Wit141205’) was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition in 2016.

Clematis koreana Amber was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition, in 2016.  This clematis produces creamy yellow flowers with outer petals that are flushed with a warm, delicate blush.  There aren’t many clematis with yellow flowers, making Clematis korenana Amber something of a novelty.  Clematis koreana Amber flowers in May and June; these first blooms are followed by a second, lighter flush of flowers, in September.

Clematis Koreana AMBER is resistant to Clematis wilt – plants have good disease resistance, making this a very easy Clematis to grow.

Clematis koreana AMBER grows to about 2-2.5m (6-8ft) tall. This Clematis doesn’t require any pruning, making it easy to look after.

Clematis koreana AMBER (‘Wit141205’). Clematis koreana AMBER can be grown in a container, or in your garden beds and borders. This Clematis thrives in any aspect, even windy, coastal areas.

If you’re interested in purchasing Clematis koreana Amber, plants are available from Taylors Clematis – here’s a link to their website.

Clematis koreana AMBER (‘Wit141205’). Clematis koreana AMBER is a very special, fully hardy, Clematis. Plants produce yellow-cream double flowers from early May until mid-June; with the added bonus of a second, smaller flush of flowers in September.

Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’

RHS Plant Committee Manager, Jill Otway and Royal Horticultural Society President, Elizabeth Banks, are pictured with Paul Hansord and Michael Perry from Thompson & Morgan, and Kylie Balmain, the Head of Horticultural Relations for the RHS. I took this photograph at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012, when Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ was awarded the winner of the prestigious title of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the year Competition.

Royal Horticultural Society President, Elizabeth Banks pictured with Paul Hansord and Michael Perry from Thompson & Morgan, as they celebrate Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ winning the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the year Competition, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012.

Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ caused a sensation when it was launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012!  This new foxglove was created by Charles Valin, (Thompson & Morgan’s Plant Breeder) who crossed our native foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) with the Canary Island foxglove (Digitalis canariensis).  Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ produces cherry-pink coloured flowers with soft yellowy-peach coloured centres, which are delicately freckled.  This foxglove’s flowers look sensational; they last for ages, blooming for up to six months at a time!

At the launch of Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ it was claimed that these foxgloves were hardy; however most plants didn’t survive their first winter.  I’d describe this foxglove as half-hardy.  If you’re thinking of growing Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’, plant this foxglove in a sheltered spot and protect your plant from winter wet as well as shielding your plant from frost and snow.  Why not grow your Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ plants in a container and move them to a glasshouse over winter?

These sturdy foxgloves don’t need any support.  Plants grow to around 90cm (3ft) tall.

Digitalis x valinii ‘Illumination Pink’ is available from Thompson & Morgan, from other nurseries, garden centres, and suppliers.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Competition back in 2014.  The foliage of this distinctive Hydrangea becomes a bronzed burgundy in spring and autumn.  Plants flower from summer until autumn, when they produce eye-catching white and red flowers.  Each individual floret is highlighted with a red picotee edge, which gives the plants quite a striking look.  These hardy shrubs produce flowers on both new and old stems.  Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ plants enjoy an extended flowering season; they flower from June until October, in the UK.

Grow Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ in any moist, but well drained soil.  Hydrangeas thrive in partial and dappled shade.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ will eventually reach a height of around 1m (3.3ft) and plants will extend to around 1m (3.3ft) in width; depending of course on your plant’s soil, situation, and growing conditions.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ is available from Dobies, as well as other nurseries and garden centres.

Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’

Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ also known as Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’, pictured in the RHS Kitchen Garden, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017. This new dwarf Mulberry was chosen as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2017.

Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ is a dwarf mulberry that was originally known as ‘Charlotte Russe’ when it was first launched in the UK.  This plant is the life’s work of Hajime Matsunaga, who was determined to develop a dwarf mulberry tree and finally achieved his ambition by the time he reached his 89th birthday.  Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition, in 2017.

I purchased a Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ plant when this mulberry was first launched, but sadly my plant didn’t make it through its first winter.  If you want to try growing this mulberry yourself, plant Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ in a well-drained soil, in a warm and sheltered, sunny location.  Plants grow up to 1.5m (5ft) tall.

Morus ‘Waisei-kirishima-shikinari’ is available from Suttons Seeds.

Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’

Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’ was discovered growing at a nursery, in the USA.  This evergreen shrub was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2013 Competition, after impressing the judges with its slender, soft spine-free leaves.  Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’ blooms in late summer and autumn; plants produce sweetly scented flowers.  To make the most of this plant’s perfume, you may want to position this shrub near a path, to ensure you’ll pass by and enjoy this Mahonia flowers’ fragrance.

Plant Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’ in any moist but well-drained soil, in a sheltered location that enjoys sunshine or partial shade.  This evergreen shrub is described as being hardy down to -5C to -10C (23-14F), so you may need to position your plant near the warmth of a wall of building, if you live in a cold part of the country.

Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’ plants will grow up to 1.2m (4ft) tall, depending of course on your plant’s soil, situation, and growing conditions.

Plants are available from Burncoose Nurseries, as well as from other nurseries, garden centres, and suppliers.

Sedum takesimense ‘Atlantis’

The winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019, was Sedum takesimense ATLANTIS (‘Nonsitnal’)! This new Sedum grows to around 30cm (12 inches tall).

The winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2019 Competition was Sedum takesimense Atlantis!  As you can see, this is a striking plant with variegated foliage and sunny yellow flowers.

Sedum takesimense Atlantis is a hardy plant that’s fairly robust and drought tolerant.  This Sedum’s leaves often become blushed with pink in autumn.  Plants bloom from June to September, in the UK.  Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects are attracted to this Sedum’s flowers.

Sedum takesimense ATLANTIS (‘Nonsitnal’) was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019 Competition! This new Sedum flowers from June to September, producing these vivid yellow flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.

If you’re looking for an easy-going container plant, why not consider growing this new Sedum?  Sedum takesimense Atlantis thrives when grown in a pot or planter or planted directly in the soil.  Choose a bright and sunny location and use a free-draining, peat-free compost or plant in any well-drained soil.

Sedum takesimense Atlantis is available from Suttons Seeds, as well as from other nurseries and suppliers.

Sedum takesimense ATLANTIS (‘Nonsitnal’) was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019 Competition! This new Sedum flowers from June to September, producing these vivid yellow flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.

Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’

Back in 2010, Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition.  These stunning Streptocarpus hybrids were developed by the family run Dibleys Nurseries, in Ruthin, North Wales.  Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ produce pale blue and soft yellow bicoloured flowers that display dark purple markings on the inner throat of each flower.  This Streptocarpus tends to produce smaller leaves than many Streptocarpus.  However, if you find your Streptocarpus is producing exceptionally long leaves it might be because you’re growing your plant in a little more shade than is necessary – try moving your plant to a slightly brighter location, away from direct sunlight.

Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ are tender plants that make super houseplants.  They’re an ideal choice for partially shaded rooms and East or West facing windowsills.  The secret is to avoid harsh, direct sunlight and to only water your plants after their compost has dried out.

Lynne Dibley, pictured with Dibleys Nurseries Gold Medal winning exhibit, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ are available from Dibleys Nurseries.

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’

The Silent Pool Gin Garden featured a range of plants, including biennials, herbaceous perennials, and shrubs planted in raised beds and patio beds. The shrub with the white, lacy flowers that you can see at the back corner of this photograph is Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’. While in the front of this picture, you can see Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ and Rodgersia podophylla growing among other plants.

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition, back in 2015.

This is a rather charming Viburnum that has won praise for its year-round interest in the garden.  The season starts in spring, when Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ plants produce an abundance of lacy white flowers that clothe this shrub right from the top of the plant’s tallest tip all the way down to its lowest branch.  In the summer, the white blooms take on a soft pink blush.  By autumn, Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ flowers have faded, when they develop into red berries, which in turn become blacker and shinier, as they age.  This shrub’s foliage takes on the burnished tones of fired orange and red, in autumn and winter.

If you’re interested in purchasing Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’, plants are available from Crocus, and from other nurseries, garden centres, and suppliers.

The Winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ was crowned the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade People’s Choice Award.  While, Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ was named the winner of the President’s Award.

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ (‘Jww5’).

Other articles that may interest you…………..

To see photographs giving an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To see photographs giving an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, please click here.

To see photographs giving an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, please click here.

To see photographs giving an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, please click here.

To see photographs giving an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015, please click here.

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