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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

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New plants at the 2011 Hampton Court show

Posted by Graham Rice on 07 Jul 2011 at 03:33 PM

Pennisetum macrourum,Short Stuff,Hampton Court. Image © Knoll GardensThere are some interesting new (and not so new) plants at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year and I've done two reports on them for the RHS Show coverage on the website.

Firstly, I've done a five minute video on new and interesting plants at the show 9scroll down and hit the link), there's also a slightly different companion slide show report, and also a special slide show report on all the new roses including the Rose of The Year.

One of the new introductions that I especially liked was Pennisetum macrourum 'Short Stuff (above, click to enlarge)'. At Knoll Gardens, Neil Lucas is developing new ornamental grasses especially suited to the British climate. Pennisetum macrourum 'Short Stuff' is his latest.

The wild species, from the mountains of South Africa, is lovely grass but tends to be too tall and flower too late in the year in our rather different British climate. 'Short Stuff' is starting to flower now, in early July, and will continue flowering through the summer. As the name implies it's also shorter, reaching only about 90cm/3ft high with its upright, blue-tinted leaves are topped with slender green tipped spikes in rusty pink.

'Short Stuff' enjoys a well drained soil in full sun, or it can be grown in a container. At the Show it looked especially good as a specimen plant in a square, rusty brown steel pot.

Pennisetum macrourum 'Short Stuff' is available from Knoll Gardens either at the Show or by mail order.


The Enduring Gardener said:

It sounds like you enjoyed the show Graham. For some reason I can't get your video to work. I was wondering if you had chance to see the giant honeysuckle in the 'old walled garden' ? It looked fantastic, if only we had the climate. I managed to get a few snaps of such plants which you can see here :

on 12 Jul 2011 at 09:09 AM

Graham Rice said:

No, I missed that monster honeysuckle but it looks amazing! The video should be working OK now.

on 15 Jul 2011 at 07:50 PM