A couple of years ago I published a book called Powerhouse Plants. It was my choice of individual plants that have two, three or even four different features that bring colour and interest to our gardens at different seasons of the year. Now, a Powerhouse Plant has won the sixth Chelsea Plant of The Year award.
Announced recently at the Chelsea Flower Show, Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Kilimanjaro Sunrise (‘Jww5’) (above, click to enlarge) won this year’s award, its four seasons of interest marking it out from the other entries.
The white lacecap spring flowers, developing pink tints as they age, are followed by red berries maturing to black, then a second flush of flowers opens later in the year which is rounded off by a fiery burst of autumn leaf colour. This form develops into a slightly smaller shrub than previous varieties but is as tough and easy to grow.
In second place was a very different plant, a streptocarpus called ‘Polka-Dot Purple’ (left, click to enlarge), from Dibleys, the world’s leading streptocarpus breeder and the same breeder that created the first winner of this award back in 2010. The prettily purple patterned white flowers caught everyone’s eye. This is an ideal windowsill house plant that flowers for ten months of the year.
In third place, Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ (below, click to enlarge) is a richly coloured half-hardy perennial developed in Australia. This long-flowering plant is hardy in warm gardens and is superb for summer patio containers everywhere else.
It’s a great to see a plant to that so completely fulfils the Powerhouse Plants ideal of multiseason interest winning this prestigious award.
Viiburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Kilimanjaro Sunrise (‘Jww5’) is available in Britain from Crocus but is not yet available in North America.
Streptocarpus ‘Polka-Dot Purple’ is available in Britain from Dibleys and will be available in North America in a year or two.
Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ is available in Britain from Dysons Nurseries. The plant has its very own website and in North America is part of the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Find out more about Powerhouse Plants.