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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

Gold Medal winners at the National Plant Show

Posted by Graham Rice on 29 Jun 2010 at 06:19 PM

Clematis,Guiding Light,Evipo053,National Plant Show. Image: ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved) [Cross posted extra from my Transatlantic Plantsman blog.]

So here’s more on the New Plant Awards at the first National Plant Show (last day tomorrow). Sponsored by ProVar, the non-profit agency that markets new plants, yesterday afternoon and evening I helped judge the awards – which were announced this morning. So here’s the full roster of Gold Awards
:
Begonia Glowing Embers, which I told you about this morning;
Clematis Guiding Promise™ (‘Evipo053), the latest from Raymond Evison;
Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunrise’, a dwarf shrub in brilliant colours;
Nemesia 'Blueberry Ripple', an amazingly prolific bicoloured nemesia;
Nemesia ‘Framboise’, also prolific and a wonderful fruity colour.

We gave the Best in Show award to Begonia Glowing Embers, for its combination of sultry chocolate bronze foliage and its many orange single flowers.
Coprosma,Tequila Sunrise,National,Plant Show. Image: ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)
Clematis Guiding Promise™ (‘Evipo053')  (top, click to enlarge) is the latest from ace clematis breeder Raymond Evison. It’s short, reaching just 0.9-1.2m/3-4ft, so is ideal sprawling through a low shrub and produces masses of six-petalled blue-purple flowers with dark centres in early summer and then again in late summer and autumn.

Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunrise’ (right, click to enlarge) originated in New Zealand as a sport of Coprosma ‘Yuanne’ and its very glossy,  wavy, evergreen green leaves are edged in rusty orange in summer turning red in winter. This looks to be a fine plant to use as a container specimen.
Nemesia,Blueberry Ripple,National Plant Show. Image: ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)
Nemesia 'Blueberry Ripple' (left, click to enlarge) stood out from across the hall. A mass of scented blueberry and white flowers, the two colours separated by a yellow lip, keep coming on bushy plants all summer.

Nemesia ‘Framboise’ (right, click to enlarge), five nemesias gained awards in all, I liked this one for its rich fruity colouring and the way the foliage stayed even and compact and the flowers all stood up above it. Nemesia,Framboise,National Plant Show. Image: ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)

I’ll tell you about the other award winners tomorrow. These are all new in Britain and just starting to become available in garden centres and soon by mail order. Look out for them.

Finally, without naming names, it was interesting to see that a number of entries simply failed to follow the rules. Following the rules is absolutely basic.
For example:
Five plants of each entry were required, so don’t submit just one.
Don’t turn up two hours after the deadline, when judging is almost complete, and expect your entry to be accepted.
If the main feature of a plant is its flowers, enter plants which are actually flowering!

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