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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

H W Hyde: New at Hampton Court ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 11 Jul 2009 at 09:00 PM

H W Hyde won the award for the Best Exhibit in the Floral Marquee at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week - and the award was very well deserved. Their carefully staged exhibit of beautiful lilies grown in individual pots was just stunning.

Lilium seedling A2. Image: GardenPhotos.comI watched Richard Hyde as he moved the potted lilies on to the exhibit, stood back to assess the effect and, as often as not, moved the plants back out to try an alternative.

One impressive feature of the stand was the inclusion of lilies so new that they don't yet even have names! These were OT Hybrids - hybrids between Oriental and Trumpet lilies - and Richard explained that those he'd chosen for the exhibit had actually been rejected by their Dutch breeder.

Lilium seedling A12. Image:"These are rejects out of a Dutch breeding programme," he told me, "plants that don't work as cut flowers but which can still make superb garden plants. The Dutch tend to reject plants with spots, for example, which British gardeners like, so we get the chance to offer them.

"They grow half a million seedlings in their greenhouse every year and they mainly create varieties for cut flower growers. They look for qualities of no interest to gardeners: they like flowers in tight heads which all open together and pack easily into boxes. And they reject plants which produce more than one stem from a bulb - something that gardeners appreciate." Their rejects can make superb excellent plants.

The seedlings illustrated here are just two of those on display at the Show. When they're named, and Richard has enough stock to offer, they'll be available at shows and online from the H W Hyde website.



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