The Rose of the Year Competition is a prestigious annual rose competition that sees new roses trialled for two years prior to their release. The roses competing for the coveted title of the Rose of the Year are grown alongside each other in a diverse range of locations, from Aberdeen, Hampshire, Northern Ireland, and East Anglia; each location offers differing soil, climate, growing conditions and challenges.
‘Hestia’ is a dwarf runner bean. Due to its small size, ‘Hestia’ is a superb choice of plant to grow in containers. I’ve found that the height of ‘Hestia’ runner beans varies depending on the compost or soil they are growing in and the size of the container used. Sometimes these plants appreciate a short wigwam of bamboo canes to tentatively climb or some short pea sticks to direct the plants upwards and prevent the plants from spreading out sideways too waywardly, but more often than not, no support is necessary and ‘Hestia’ runner bean plants will happily grow without any supports.
When I think of ‘Half Pint’ peas, I remember the saying, ‘Nice things come in small packages‘. For me, all peas make attractive plants but I must say that ‘Half Pint’ peas’ small stature only serves to enhance their appearance and these dainty little pea plants really are very pretty and endearing. A true miniature-sized plant, ‘Half Pint’ peas grow up to an absolute maximum of 15–20cm (6-8inch) tall.
‘Sweet Crunch’ is an F1 hybrid and a predominantly female cucumber variety that produces half-sized to three-quarter sized cucumbers. In my Cucumber Trials, I’ve found ‘Sweet Crunch’ is a fast grower that rapidly produces a harvest. ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers are crunchy and lovely to eat; they have thin, smooth and glossy skins that are devoid of any spines. These cucumbers have a great flavour and this variety has many good qualities.
Cucumber ‘Mini Munch’ is an F1 hybrid. This all-female cucumber produces petit-sized cucumbers that will grow up to a maximum of half the size of a standard cucumber when the fruit are fully grown and developed.
This is a fantastic, smooth-skinned cucumber with lovely thin skins and no spines whatsoever. ‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers taste delicious at every stage – from when they’re the size of the tiniest sized pickled gherkin.
Dwarf French bean ‘Mistik’ (known by their botanical name, Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Mistik’) is a French bean that produces short, low-growing plants with attractive purple-lilac coloured flowers and handsome deep-purple coloured French beans. Due to their dark colour, purple ‘Mistik’ French beans really stand out against the plants’ green foliage when you view the plants, which makes finding the beans so much easier at harvest time, compared to French beans with green pods.
Dwarf French bean ‘Adoration’ are also known by their botanical name, Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Adoration’. ‘Adoration’ is a French bean that produces short, low-growing plants with pretty white flowers and pale, buttery-yellow coloured French beans. ‘Adoration’ French beans retain all their delightful yellow colour when cooked. Dwarf French bean ‘Adoration’ is also known as a bush bean – bush bean is just another common name for dwarf French beans.
Please don’t be put off by my photograph of sweet pepper ‘Panache’. I share this image to show you just how robust this sweet pepper variety is. This sweet pepper ‘Panache’ plant you can see in the image above was grown in a cut off water storage container filled with some lovely peat-free compost. The plant received attention from slugs and snails, yet despite this my ‘Panache’ sweet pepper plant was incredibly productive and produced an abundance of delicious sweet peppers!
Chilli pepper ‘Draky’ (Capsicum annuum) is a chilli pepper that produces large-sized chilli peppers that ripen from green to red. ‘Draky’ chilli pepper plants are cone-shaped, because of their size and shape, ‘Draky’ chilli peppers resemble a sweet pepper in their appearance. These chillies are an ideal size and shape to be served as a stuffed vegetable; fill the peppers with a range of ingredients from rice, herbs, and spices; or use them to create more unusual dishes.
Chilli Pepper ‘Pepperilli’ (Capsicum Pepperilli™ TZ 5488 F1) is an attractive and productive chilli pepper with large-sized chillies that ripen from green to red. ‘Pepperilli’ makes a superb container plant for planters filled with peat-free growing media, but in summertime ‘Pepperilli’ plants can also be planted out in garden beds and borders as well as in allotments and raised beds.
Chilli Pepper ‘Sivri Biber’ (Capsicum annuum) produces long and slender chillies that are a popular ingredient in Turkish cuisine. ‘Sivri Biber’ chilli peppers are blessed with a sweet and mellow flavour. They are usually considered as mild flavoured chillies, but heat levels vary; older ‘Sivri Biber’ peppers and mature peppers that have ripened from green to red can sometimes be surprisingly spicy!
Rosa ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ (Ausernie) is an English Shrub Rose that was bred by David Austin Roses. This rose was launched at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2022. Rosa ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ was named in honour of the famous Morecambe and Wise song, Bring Me Sunshine. I adore the scent of this pretty rose’s flowers. Bring Me Sunshine produces large-sized, fully double flowers in a delightfully soft yellow colour.
Rosa ‘Elizabeth’ (Ausmajesty) is an English Shrub Rose that was bred by David Austin Roses. This rose was launched at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2022. Named in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; David Austin’s ‘Elizabeth’ rose was released in May 2022 – to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Rosa ‘Elizabeth’ grows up to around 1.4m (4.5ft) tall; forming a shrub that extends to around 1.4m (4.5ft) wide.
Erigeron annuus is a charming plant which is sometimes called Tall Fleabane. In the UK, Erigeron annuus plants produce tall sprays of small white-petalled, yellow-centred daisies from June to the end of October (early summer to early autumn). These plants display a relaxed and floaty air, which is always welcome in my garden. Erigeron annuus has that gorgeous meadowy vibe! Plants have a naturally open habit, which allows us many opportunities to see what other plants are growing amongst them.
Cucumber ‘Party Time’ is a new all-female, parthenocarpic cucumber that was bred by Henk van der Velde from Burpee Europe and launched in 2020. This variety produces half-sized to three-quarter-sized cucumbers without any spines, just lovely smooth skin. The flavour is lovely and refreshing, just as cucumbers should be! ‘Party Time’ cucumbers are nice and crunchy, too!
In the UK, the time to sow ‘Party Time’ cucumber seeds is from the beginning of March through until June (early spring to late spring).
Primula veris is also known as the Cowslip. Primula veris is very pretty perennial that holds a special place in many people’s hearts, reminding us of country walks and the beauty of nature. Primula veris is a commonly seen wildflower throughout Europe – being known and loved by so many – I am certain this lovely plant has many more common names.
Ilex aquifolium is the commonest holly we have in the UK; plants can be found growing both in the wild and as cultivated, garden plants. This holly species can be used as container plants, for hedging, or grown as specimen trees. Ilex aquifolium is native to the UK (Ilex aquifolium is absent from the Outer Hebrides, the Shetland Isles, and Orkney) but this is also a native plant of West Asia, North Africa, Southern and Western Europe.
Hylotelephium spectabile are hardy herbaceous perennials that bloom in late summer and early autumn; their flowers are very attractive to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects. Many gardeners know this plant by its common name – Sedum – but Hylotelephium spectabile is this plant’s up-to-date, botanical name.
These plants will positively thrive in sandy, silty and naturally well-drained soils; Hylotelephium spectabile love to grow in bright and sunny areas.
Inula hookeri is a clump forming, herbaceous perennial from China. I love daisies and I adore these sunny yellow flowers and I’m very fond of Inula hookeri’s super soft leaves. Next time you see this plant, reach out and stroke a leaf, it’s soft and furry. I appreciate this plant because its flowers attract bees and butterflies to my garden.
Carrot ‘Short n Sweet’ (Daucus carota ‘Short n Sweet’) is a brand new carrot from Burpee Europe that has been especially bred to cope with poor and heavy soils. These carrots produce orange-coloured, small sized carrots that tend to produce carrots measuring up to 10cm (4 inches) in length.
I’ve enjoyed growing ‘Short n Sweet’ in my garden. I’ve found ‘Short n Sweet’ to be superb carrot to grow in containers.