20 shortlisted plants are presented to a panel of over 100 RHS plant experts on the Monday before the show opens. The panel selects a single new introduction as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2017, taking into account; Innovation, excellence & impact, appeal. The winning plant takes pride of place at the centre of the Plant of the Year display in the Great Pavillion.
This year’s shortlist did not disappoint and there were some real gems to be seen. Remember, these are all new plants launched within the year and we find lots of inspiration when looking at these, frantically making notes to take back and plan them into next year’s planting schemes!
So, here the top 3…
WINNER – Mulberry, Charlotte Russe (‘Matsunaga’)
A delightful little Mulberry plant ideal for patios and small gardens. The first crop is flavoursome. This plant was presented by Horticultural Trades Association.
SECOND PLACE – Salvia, ‘Crystal Blue’
This was discovered as a chance seedling in a nursery field, it has a unique sky-blue colour that will make it a welcome addition to any garden. Presented by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants.
THIRD PLACE – Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Petit Orange’
This Hibiscus is ideal for patios, planters and window boxes. The stunning orange flower contrasts well with dark foliage and will give an exotic feel to any garden. Presented by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
All very deserving of their awards, we’re sure you’ll agree. We can’t help but pick out a few of our favourites from the shortlist…
Pelargonium ‘Rushmore Amazon’ (Rushmore River Series)
This gorgeous specimen, presented by Fibrex Nurseries, really caught our eye with its large, buttery yellow flowers. They are ideal for cutting due to their long stems. A great addition to the Rushmoor River Series!
Chilli pepper ‘Dragon’s Breath’
The clue is in the name! This little chilli, developed and presented by Bob and Neal Price, is claimed to be the hottest in the world. It also has medicinal properties and can of course be used for cooking, if you dare!
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Cupcakes Blush’
If you visited the gardens last year you may have noticed our Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’ in the planters around the tearoom. They are such a pretty, delicate little bloom with a striking flower form fused to a single cup. This variety, presented by Scotts Miracle-Gro has semi-double flowers changing from white to blush. Just beautiful!