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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Pine Cottage Plants: New at Hampton Court

Posted by Graham Rice on 02 Jul 2009 at 05:45 PM

Agapanthus 'Northern Star' - new at the 2009 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Image: ©Pine Cottage PlantsOne of the great things about visiting any big flower show - and the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the biggest of them all - is that you get the chance to talk to the breeders of some wonderful new varieties.

Richard Fulcher, who runs Pine Cottage Plants in Devon, is a holder of a National Collections of Agapanthus and is expecting to be showing perhaps three new varieties he's raised himself.

Getting the timing for the Show right is always tricky, and with the recent scorching weather his timing may be thrown out at the last minute. But one fine new variety he's confident of being able to unveil is Agapanthus ‘Northern Star'. "The plants are looking to be on target," he told me - although that was before the heat wave.

‘Northern Star' is one of the hardier, deciduous, types with unusually large rounded heads packed with flowers. Each individual flower opens from an inky purple bud to a blue flower with a darker blue stripe along the centre of each petal. Then the petals continue to roll back as the flowers mature until each is like an exploding star creating a lively sense of movement. The foliage is interesting too, the base of each leaf is stained violet-blue, almost black.

Richard himself calls ‘Northern Star' "spectacular" and "one of the finest hardy Agapanthus in cultivation" and even for allowing for a little parental pride it must be good!

You can buy Agapanthus ‘Northern Star' at the show or order it online. I'll be reporting on Richard's other newcomers which made it to the show later in the week.

Another holder of a National Collection of Agapanthus who can also be seen at the Show is the Hoyland Plant Centre, exhibiting in the Plant Heritage Marquee.



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