White Bird of Paradise
Deer? They'll eat anything - even hellebores.

Top Ten New Perennials

Today, I have a piece on the Top Ten New Perennials in the Daily Telegraph.You can read it here. Be sure to click on the In Pictures: Top 10 new perennials link at the top of the page to see a slide show of all ten of my picks.

You can also read my previous article on Clematis cirrhosa here

And my piece for the Telegraph on hellebores here

And my piece for them on winter arums here

And my piece for them on bergenias here

And my piece on winter flowering pansies here

And another piece, on growing your own mistletoe, here

The Daily Telegraph is one of Britain's best-selling daily newspapers and winner of the 2007 Garden Media Guild award for the Gardening Newspaper of the Year.



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Mark Denee

Hi Graham:

Echinacea 'Green Envy' is a definite winner -- relatively vigorous and an interesting bi-colour as it fades from the initial green to the usual red-pink.

Heuchera 'Rave On' is also a great one -- outstanding in our trials for the last couple of years.

Finally, Helleborus Ivory Prince (TM) is indeed outstanding. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the various selections from the "Gold Collection".

Cheers, Mark

Mark Denee

Hi Graham (again):

One more thought: how about some North American sources, if possible, for these "top 10" beauties for 2008?

Thanks, Mark

Graham Rice

Glad you have good experiences of some of my choices Mark. Though Helleborus Ivory Prince (TM) is not actually part of the Gold Collection, from Germany, but a one-off from David Tristram in England.

US sources? OK... give me till romorrow!


Graham, I have only had 'Ivory Prince' in my garden for less than a year, but I echo the wonderful review of this hellebore. It probably gets too much sun (from about 11am to 2pm) and is in my crappy, sandy soil that I topdress with compost but that still tends to the drier side. And yet I had very little leaf loss this winter/spring, and there are a handful of flower buds on each plant. I'm amazed.

(Mark, I found mine at my local garden center.)


I would like to make a comment on the recent flood of new Echinacea-cultivars on the market. My experience with them is not very positive. Although they are beautiful they are very often short lived. The problem is getting them through our wet West European winters. Many Dutch gardeners experience problems with the new Echinacea's like 'Harvest Moon', 'Art's Pride','Sundown' 'Pixie Meadowbrite' etc. etc. Some even think that they do not earn the perennial status: an expensive annual would be a more correct name.
My advice to the plant breeders: when 'making' a new cultivar be sure to check the longevity of the new plant. If it cannot survive a couple of years under normal garden circumstances it is in my opinion a mistake to put it on the market.

Greetings from the Netherlands,


Graham Rice

Sorry not to have posted US sources of my Top Ten New Perennials - so busy, at my desk and outside! I will do it soon, though.

I agree, Theo, that some of the echinaceas struggle through the winter with the Meadowbrites especially tricky. See my piece on hybrid echinaceas here (http://tinyurl.com/2tlwk5) for more on all this.

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