Skip navigation.

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

Recent Comments

  • More new heucheras in the new RHS PlantFinder

    Graham Rice on 29 Apr 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Heuchera,Midas Touch,TerraNova Nurseries, Image: ©TerraNova NurseriesHeucheras continue to be launched at a fast pace, there are twenty two in the new RHS PlantFinder. I covered the two available from the most nurseries three weeks ago, but another five are available from five or six nurseries. Four are American, one is from France. There are some startling colours.

    Firstly, those from America. With ruffled and rippled lobed foliage, the leaves of ‘Midas Touch’ (above) bring a blend of peach and gold with an attractive network of veins. This is strong but compact plant, ideal in mixed containers and in vivid planting schemes.

    ‘Mysteria’ appeared at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show last year and is now more widely available. This is one of the best in combining good foliage and good flowers. The prettily ruffled leaves are attractively silvered, with pinkish tinges and glimpses of the red undersides as they unfurl. The flowers are coral pink, open in late spring and summer, and are held low over the leaves. ‘Lipstick’, too, is a fine flower and foliage combination, the bright scarlet flowers carried above intriguingly puckered silvery green leaves.

    Heuchera,Shanghai,TerraNova Nurseries, Image: ©TerraNova NurseriesThe exceptionally winter tolerant ‘Shanghai’ (left), also seen at last year's Hampton Court, features silvery purple leaves which emerge almost purple yet retain their colouring through the winter making this a valuable plant for winter containers. Then in summer there’s a long succession of white flowers carried on purple stems.

    Finally from France, from the breeder who brought us the popular ‘Tiramisu’ and the superb ‘Citronelle’, comes ‘Kassandra’. A vigorous plant, the leaves open in caramel colouring then mature into orange and amber, and finally flourish in maroon with pinkish tints in the autumn. There are also white flowers in summer.

    I’ve just been checking up and it looks as if I’ll be writing up more new heucheras later this year.

    Heuchera ‘Midas Touch’ is available from these six RHS PlantFinder nurseries
    Heuchera ‘Kassandra’ is available from these five RHS PlantFinder nurseries
    Heuchera ‘Lipstick’ is available from these five RHS PlantFinder nurseries
    Heuchera ‘Mysteria’ is available from these five RHS PlantFinder nurseries
    Heuchera ‘Shanghai’ is available from these five RHS PlantFinder nurseries


  • Lovely bicoloured phlox - new in the 2010/2011 PlantFinder

    Graham Rice on 26 Apr 2010 at 09:16 PM

    Bicoloured phlox,Jan Verschoor. Image: ©Luc KlinkhamerMany traditional border plants which have been favourites for a very long time are now receiving concentrated attention from plant breeders. New delphiniums, new perennial asters and new Shasta daisies are appearing. Now, in The Netherlands, border phlox are in focus.

    Plant breeder Jan Verschoor has created many new varieties of border phlox in recent years, looking for new colours, shorter and bushier plants, good vase life when used as cut flowers and mildew resistance. He also introduced the unique Geranium pratense ‘Double Jewel’. The picture (above, click to enlarge) shows arange of his recently created new plants and some are now arriving in Britain. As is clear, bicolours are of special appeal.

    ‘Peppermint Twist’ (second in the left hand row) has been a great success and he has more exciting new varieties on the way. The double-flowered white ‘Tiara’, introduced last year, has also been a great success. New this year, with seven stockists in the new 2010/2011 RHS PlantFinder is Phlox paniculata‘Jade’.

    Phlox paniculata 'Jade'. Image: ©Walters Gardens

  • Two clematis from Raymond Evison – new in the 2010/2011 PlantFinder

    Graham Rice on 20 Apr 2010 at 07:49 AM

    Every year the world’s leading clematis breeder Raymond Evison releases more new varieties and two of them are amongst the new entries in the 2010 PlantFinder which are listed by the most nurseries – seven nurseries are listing both Clematis Shimmer ('Evipo028') and Clematis Reflections (‘Evipo035’).

    Clematis,Reflections,‘Evipo035’,Raymond Evison. Image ©Raymond Evison Clematis

  • Latest RHS PlantFinder now online

    Graham Rice on 18 Apr 2010 at 10:53 AM

    RHS PlantFinder,online, Image: ©RHSI’m delighted to say that the 2010/2011 RHS PlantFinder is now available online. This is great news. Now we can get all the latest plant availability information and all the latest updated plant names online – and it’s free! You don’t even have to be a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. It’s free online to everyone as part of the Society's charitable work in helping bring good information to gardeners.

    I love to have the book in my hand, I use it just about every single day. And it’s bulging fatness, all 978 pages of it, is such a re-assuring presence in the horticultural world. It’s the most important gardening book published in my lifetime.

    But having the whole thing available online is just indispensable. Start with the search page, it will quickly show you the details of the nurseries stocking the plants you’re looking for and connect with their websites.


  • Echinaceas: new in the 2010/2011 PlantFinder

    Graham Rice on 08 Apr 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Echinacea 'Hot Summer'.Continuing our look at the new plants in the recently published 2010/2011 RHS PlantFinder, echinaceas now take the stage. There are fifteen new echinaceas included, although a number of them are only available from one source, but three of the new echinaceas are easier to find.

    The new echinacea with the most stockists is ‘Hot Summer’ (left), which I wrote up as long ago as January last year when it appeared in a plant catalogue issued by one of the seed companies. Now seven PlantFinder nurseries have it. ‘Hot Summer’ is a single-flowered type whose flowers open yellow, mature through orange to scarlet – the result is flowers in all three colours on the plant at the same time.

    Echinacea 'Flame Thrower'. Image ©Terra Nova Nurseries

  • Most popular plants in the new RHS PlantFinder

    Graham Rice on 03 Apr 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie'. Image: © Do not reproduce in any way without permission.Two new foliage plants are top of the charts as newcomers in the 2010/2011 RHS PlantFinder. Two heucheras, both seen for the very first time at last year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, are listed by more nurseries than any other plants and they really look impressive.

    Both these new heucheras are from the plant breeding programme at Terra Nova Nurseries in Portland, Oregon, who introduce more new perennials each year than any other breeder in the world.

    Heuchera ‘Berry Smoothie’ (above, click to enlarge) is way out in front, being listed by twenty nine nurseries in the new RHS PlantFinder (out a couple of days ago). The foliage is a fantastic colour. The leaves open rosy pink, maturing into silver with pink overtones and a touch of scarlet at the base of the veins. It develops into bold, good sized plants.

    This also looks to be one of the toughest and most climatically adaptable heucheras we’ve seen. It has in its background both H. americana, which grows as far north as Ontario, Canada, so can take the cold, and H. villosa which grows as far south as hot and humid Alabama and Georgia.

    Heuchera 'Fire Chief'. Image: © Do not reproduce in any way without permission. Read More...