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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

Recent Comments

  • Rose Lady Marmalade: Rose Of The Year for 2014

    Graham Rice on 23 Aug 2013 at 01:31 PM
    Rose Lady Marmalade - Rose Of The Year 2014. Image ©Harkness RosesThe Rose Of The Year award began in 1982, when the yellow Floribunda Mountbatten (‘Harmantelle’) was the first winner. Ten years later Mountbatten received the RHS Award of Garden Merit and is still recognised as an excellent variety. Last month at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the 2014 Rose Of The Year award-winner was announced – Lady Marmalade (‘Hartiger’).

    Lady Marmalade is a neat Floribunda rose reaching about 90cm in height. The 10cm flowers are a gorgeous rich and bright tangerine with amber overtones, cupped in the old fashioned style with about fifty petals in each flower and with the outer petals reflexing attractively as the flowers mature. With up to eleven flowers in each cluster the impact is impressive and, especially with regular dead-heading, the flowers keep coming from June into the autumn.

    And then of course there’s the scent. Rated by the breeder as 6, the fragrance is not exceptionally outstanding – that would rate a 10 – but the spicy perfume is certainly impressive.

    Lady Marmalade (‘Hartiger’) was developed by Hertfordshire specialists Harkness Roses, who've developed a huge number of fine roses, including that first Rose Of The Year winner Mountbatten, since the nursery began creating new varieties in 1959. The name is sometimes seen spelled as Lady Marmelade (with an e) but this is incorrect.

    You can order the Lady Marmalade rose from Harkness Roses or from these RHS PlantFinder nurseries.



  • Clematis ‘Prince George’: Named for the Royal baby

    Graham Rice on 12 Aug 2013 at 03:02 PM
    Clematis 'Prince George': Named for the Royal baby. Image © New Leaf PlantsGardeners enjoying the wave of enthusiasm for the Royal baby can now buy the first plant named for the baby prince.

    This beautiful white clematis is named ‘Prince George’ and is not only prolific and long flowering but also one of those varieties which is especially easy to prune. And it will be in bloom every year on the prince's birthday.

    The flowers of ‘Prince George’ are large, pure white and very prettily ruffled along the edges of the petals and this is a variety in the same group as the old favourites ‘Jackmanii’ and ‘Perle d’Azur’(Group 3), flowering from July to the autumn. So every year it will be bursting with bloom around the time of the prince’s birthday. (The white clematis I featured last time flowers earlier.) It has the same tendency as ‘Jackmanii’ to carry flowers with either four, five or six petals and in some conditions may have a slight ice blue tint.

    The most familiar comparable variety is ‘John Huxtable’ and, while ‘Prince George’ has slightly smaller flowers, they are more open in form and have prettily frilled edges. ‘Prince George’ arose as a sport of the pale blue ‘Blue Angel’, it was found at the wholesale nursery New Leaf Plants by Peter Hoddinott.

    You can order Clematis ‘Prince George’ from Crocus.