On this the last day of the year, I'm looking ahead to 2010 and picking out five perennials to watch for in the coming year (click the picture to enlarge it). One or two may have been available in very restricted quantities recently, but I expect all to become available by mail order during the year.
Digitalis ‘Goldcrest' With gorgeous honey-gold spikes, this is a hybrid between Digitalis obscura and D. grandiflora from David Tristram, who also raised the new hellebore hybrid I wrote up here recently. It's sterile and so is very prolific, with strong upright stems lined with those gold flowers which are speckled inside and red-tinted on the outside.
Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow' A new variegated euphorbia reckoned to be hardier and easier too grow than so many of the others we've seen. Found in Australia as a sport of plain, green-leaved E. x martinii, the foliage combines bluish green and cream with extra reddish pink tones in winter.
Acanthus ‘Whitewater' A startling new acanthus with non-spiny foliage boldly variegated in white and bright pink and with white flowers on red stems. This hybrid of Acanthus ‘Summer Beauty' is slow to get started but matures into a bold clump up to 4ft/1.2m tall.
Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream' The best yellow flowered Shasta daisy yet. Opening in lemon yellow and maturing to buttery yellow and then cream, flowers emerge from the leaf joints below the first flower to extend the flowering season.
Geum coccineum ‘Eos' From ace Dutch breeder Marco van Noort, who also brought us Geranium ‘Sweet Heidy', this new geum brings together bright orange flowers and bright golden yellow foliage in a fiery combination.
Look out for these in the coming year, when I find sources for them I'll let you know.