Home Horticultural shows RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019

RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2019

Sedum Atlantis. Picture; Suttons
Sedum Atlantis. Picture; Suttons

Suttons’ Sedum Atlantis takes the coveted title

One of the most eagerly anticipated parts of the Chelsea Flower Show is seeing which new plants* are introduced – and the winner is Sedum takesimense Atlantis (Nonsitnal), from Suttons – congratulations!

It’s drought-resistant and easy to care for, ideal for our changing climate. An attractive, easy to grow, versatile and multi-functional plant, it forms 30cm high cushions of variegated foliage topped with yellow flowers from June to September.

The cultivar was discovered as a sport on a nursery on the banks of Lake Michigan by grower Dave Mackenzie, who specialises in plants for ground cover, green roofs and walls.

Available from Suttons, it can be seen in the Great Pavilion on the stand of the National Dahlia Collection.

Second-placed plant

Taking second place is Digitalis x valinii Firebird bred in the UK by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. It has 90cm flowering spikes of warm reddish-pink with apricot tones from May to October. A reliable perennial, it has a branching habit and is also attractive to pollinators.

Third-placed plant

The third spot was taken by Agapanthus Fireworks from Thompson & Morgan.

The evergreen perennial has large umbels of bicolour flowers displaying rich blue bases and white flaring petal tips from July to September.

Growth is strong but short and clean and plants are suitable for containers or growing in garden borders.

*Information and pictures provided (or not) by exhibitors. Plants are either new hybrids, new to the UK market or being seen for the first time at Chelsea.

Final shortlisted plants

The full shortlist of the top 20 for the 2019 competition:

  1.  Osteospermum Purple Sun (Kleoe19396), Thompson & Morgan
  2. Rosa Eustacia Vye (Ausegdon), David Austin Roses
  3. Rosa Gabriel Oak (Auscrowd), David Austin Roses
  4. Streptocarpus Lemon Sorbet, Dibleys
  5. Dianthus Cherry Burst (Wp19 Mou01), Hardys
  6. Digitalis × valinii Firebird, Hardys
  7. Weigela Picobella Rosa (Tvp2)
  8. Hosta Ruffled Pole Mouse, Hogarth Hostas
  9. Rhododendron Happydendron Pushy Purple (Hachmagic), Millais Nurseries
  10. Rhododendron Jessica de Rothschild, Millais Nurseries
  11. Gypsophila cerastioides Pretty Maid (Yatgyp), Suttons
  12. Sedum takesimense Atlantis (Nonsitnal), Suttons
  13. Thymus Sparkling Bright
  14. Paeonia All That Jazz, Primrose Hall Nurseries
  15. Clematis Elodi (Evipo115), Raymond Evison Nurseries
  16. Agapanthus Fireworks (Mdb001), Thompson & Morgan
  17. Chlorophytum saundersiae Starlight, Thompson & Morgan
  18. Clematis Kokonoe, Thompson & Morgan
  19. Ajuga tenorei, Princess Nadia (Piotrek01), Thompson & Morgan
  20. Nepeta Neptune (Bokratune), Thompson & Morgan

Selected entries not shortlisted

To read more about Thompson & Morgan’s eight entries, see my earlier post here.

Winners in 2018

Last year’s winner was Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White, exhibited by The Sun newspaper with Thompson & Morgan, bred by Ushio Sakazaki, a hybrid of a remote Asian species with H. macrophylla producing lots of lace-cap flowers with a graceful trailing habit.

In second and third place came Eryngium Blue Waves and Helianthus annus Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl.

Plants are judged by a panel of RHS experts including the director of horticulture, RHS Plant Committee chairs and curators of RHS Gardens, assessing each variety on its innovation, appeal, excellence and impact.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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