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Michael Perry's Gardening Blog

RHS Chelsea Flower Show... May 2012


The Great Pavillion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has to be my favourite part because it is filled with a wealth of gardening innovation and interest and key new plant introductions.

As part of Hillier’s majestic stand in the centre, our 2011 Plant of the Year contender Verbascum ‘Blue Lagoon’ is being used to great effect in their planting. The steely blue flowers are attracting much attention.

Dianthus 'Memories'

Aside from our dazzling 2012 Plant of the Year winner, Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’, I feel I would like to mention the two fab runners up. In second place, Dianthus ‘Memories’ has superb knee-high pink blooms frilled in lacy white and an overwhelming clove fragrance.

Hyacinth ‘Royal Navy’

In third place was Hyacinth ‘Royal Navy’, which is from one of our favourite bulb suppliers in Holland and is a new extra-strong double flowered royal blue hyacinth - perfect for Jubilee year.

Another of the runners up is a new fragrant streptocarpus, which forms part of a very unique house plant range that looks superb on display at the show.

Orchids: people are having real fun with orchids at Chelsea this year. There is no expense spared when it comes to the displays. There must be a million blooms that make them up! There is even an orchid tree – you just have to see it for yourself.

Orchid display

Strawberries : who would have thought that they could be so fragrant? From 6 feet away I am feeling hungry! A lot of these are misted tip varieties which can be planted now. Click here for details of our misted tip strawberries.

Superb allium displays just get better and better at Chelsea. The stems are ultra vertical and blooms ultra architectural. Alliums are a great easy to grow summer bulb, which are reliable in the garden. People should try them more, as they are not seen in our gardens as much as they should be.

Ultra vertical alliums

One of the top clematis breeders, as usual, has his award winning stand. And, much to my amazement, he told me that 3000 plants make up the whole stand. There are not just climbing varieties but patio and ground cover types too.

Let’s not forget how much effort putting a display on at Chelsea is. Nowhere more so than the tulip displays where a lot of diary juggling and daily replacement of blooms make this display look magnificent.

There really is something for everyone - even some incredible bonsai where you can get up close and personal. You can also do this in some of the gardens especially the rose gardens where you can really see and smell the new rose garden varieties.

Bye for now,

Michael Perry, New Product Development Manager, Thompson & Morgan