Runaway Bride Snow White, an interspecific hydrangea variety, was chosen as this year’s Chelsea Show Plant of the Year. Three months earlier, in the March issue of Commercial Greenhouse Grower, this variety – introduced by Cultivaris – was singled out for its special promise among the novelties at IPM in January. Flowers are borne on side shoots as well as in the multi-flowered heads, covering plants of weeping habit. The breeder, Ushio Sakazaki, has a distinguished track record that includes the first Surfinia petunias.
It is the second time in five years that a hydrangea variety has been the top choice of Chelsea judges. Miss Saori, also bred in Japan, was the 2013 Plant of the Year.
The runner-up in the 2018 Chelsea contest was Blue Waves, a very large-bracted Eryngium (Sea Holly) variety. Found as a seedling, it is a long-lived hardy perennial described by introducer as a great cut flower.
In third place was Sunbelieveable Brown Eyed Girl, a bicoloured multi-branched sunflower. It is claimed to be capable of producing hundreds of its sterile blooms on each plant in a summer-long flowering season. Cuttings-propagated, it has pollen-free flowers. From Thompson & Morgan, this variety was also reported on in Commercial Greenhouse Grower well before the Chelsea Show, in the April issue.
Among the finalists in the 2018 Plant of the Year competition were the calendula PowerDaisy Tango, bred by Tim Kerley, a new Garvinea variety, Sweet Sunset, from Florist Holland, and Lubega Power Tricolor, a striking dahlia from Volmary.
Photo credit – https://www.rhs.org.uk