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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

Westcountry Nurseries: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Jul 2009 at 12:25 PM

We always associate Sarah Conibear and Westcountry Nurseries with enthusiasm for popularising lupins but they now grow a far wider range of plants. And on their Plant Plot exhibit at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, I spotted a new Gaura.

Gaura 'Vanilla'. Image: GardenPhotos.comGaura ‘Vanilla' is striking for two things: the purity of its white flowers and its noticeably upright habit. The flower buds are green with the faintest touch of pink and open to the familiar butterfly flowers in a very clean white, then as they age the flowers simply fall away.

The plant is very upright and self supporting and the foliage is fresh bright green in colour. Some gauras develop red colouring in the older foliage, and this has been enhanced in some varieties to great effect. But in the case of ‘Vanilla' there's only a little evidence of this feature, almost all the leaves on the plant on display remained green - which made the whole plant look fresh and bright. However, some sources say that the young growth is red-tinted which would provide welcome colour before the plant flowers.

One other interesting thing about Gaura ‘Vanilla' is that early reports suggest it may be truly hardy - it came through the last winter in Hampshire.

You can buy Gaura ‘Vanilla' at the Show or order online at the Westcountry Nurseries website.



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