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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

Petunia Martha Washington: Unique new double petunia

Posted by Graham Rice on 27 Dec 2012 at 07:12 PM

Petunia 'Martha Washington' - spectacular new double petunia. Image ©GardenPhotos.com

Cambridgeshire plant breeder David Kerley is known the world over for his Tumbelina series of double petunias. They're the best; that's all there is to it. He's also introduced many many other fine petunias as well as phygelius, primroses, violas, chrysanthemums and more. I've featured him a number of times here on the RHS New Plants blog, and I'm happy to do so again here with a one-off petunia, Martha Washington (‘Kermartha').

This is the first in his Designer Double Series of petunias. His original Designer Series includes some fine varieties, including ‘Corona Rose Rim', featured on my Transatlantic Gardener blog a few months ago.

‘Martha Washington', sometimes listed simply as ‘Martha', makes a mounded plant, perhaps better suited to a pot than a hanging basket although I've also seen it looking good in baskets. As you can see from the picture (click to enlarge), each individual flower has a broad rim in a vivid salmon pink shade around a broad white zone. In the centre is a ruffled cluster of smaller petals in the same bright colour combination.

Plants are both neat and prolific, and best displayed where the overall effect of a plant in full flower can be appreciated while at the same time the intriguing detail of individual blooms can be seen in close-up. Like so many of David's petunias it takes bad weather well.

You can order plants of Petunia Martha (‘Kermartha') from Thompson & Morgan, and look out for it in garden centres in spring.

 

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