07 May 2024

Sneak peek at new plants being launched at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

07 May 2024

There’s always a buzz of excitement around new plants at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – and this year is no exception, with a host of new offerings being unveiled.

So take a look at some of the new blooms and see if they could suit your garden style.

1. Rosa ‘With Courage’ (Peter Beales; pre-order at classicroses.co.uk)

Launching exclusively to support the 200th anniversary of lifesaving charity the RNLI, this modern classic floribunda which has taken six years of field trials to come to market produces an abundance of coppery-orange double flowers set against mid-green glossy foliage.

Free-flowering, compact and growing to 90cm (3ft) tall, peachy pink tones add charm to outer petals which display yellow accents at their base, while a sweet apple scent fills the summertime breeze with delightful fragrance. Suitable for growing in pots and for cut flower, it repeat flowers in June/July and September/October.

2. Cosmos atrosanguineus ‘Cherry Chocolate’ (Whetman Plants International; available from Hayloft, Thompson & Morgan, Crocus and other retailers)

If you love chocolate scent and plenty of deep rich colour, this tuberous half-hardy perennial with eye-catching deep pink flowers could be for you.

In trials it delivered a huge number of successive blooms from the end of May to the first frost, and as it grows to 60cm x 45cm, it’s ideal for patio pots and garden borders and is a magnet for pollinating insects.

3. Rose ‘Little Sid’ (Harkness Roses; sold via roses.co.uk and World of Roses)

A new patio rose named after four-year-old Sid Wallace, the autistic son of television presenter Gregg Wallace, aims to increase autism acceptance and raise vital funds to support autistic children and young people across the nation.

Flowerheads burst into life on this short, bushy specimen from spring with light red petals, which deepen to ruby at the centre, against dark, glossy foliage. As a repeat flowering rose, it will bloom continuously through to the first frosts.

Some £5 from every rose sold is being donated to the charity Ambitious about Autism, of which Wallace became an ambassador earlier this year.

“Raising an autistic child has many challenges but also great joys, as other families with lived experience will know. Anna (his wife) and I are very proud of our wonderful son Sid and this rose is a celebration of him and all autistic young people,” Wallace says.

4 and 5. Clematis ‘Guernsey Flute’ and Clematis ‘Lindsay’ (available in all good garden centres now and over Chelsea and from Raymond Evison Clematis through Chelsea).

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Guernsey Clematis Nursery in association with Raymond Evison Clematis, comes a gorgeous pair – a white and a blue.

‘Guernsey Flute’ has large star-shaped pure white flowers 12-14cm across, with brown/red anthers, formed from May through July and repeat flowering into September. It’s a small clematis, so ideal for a pot with a framework to cling to or in the mid to front of a flower border, where it can extend through host plants.

‘Lindsay’ has large deep purple/blue star-shaped flowers which clothe the plant from base to tip in May, June and July and repeat-flowering in September. It grows between 90cm-120cm, so is ideal for a pot and pruning is simple, as you just reduce stems down to 15cm above soil level in late winter or early spring.

6. Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Meteor’ (Available from Hillier Garden Centres and online at hillier.co.uk)

This beautiful upright, evergreen, compact shrub which forms a tidy, rounded bush with dark green leaves provides year-round interest, as the new leaves are deep red in spring, followed by a flush of yellow flowers from August to November. The compact habit makes it suitable for a wide variety of spaces, trouble free and easy to grow.

7. Begonia ‘Stellar Storm’ (Available from Dibleys Houseplants)

Fancy a new houseplant?  Multi-award-winning houseplant nursery Dibleys should get heads turning with this large, spiral leaved begonia with exceptionally cut up, spikey-edged foliage. Bands of burgundy, red and silver repeat from the outer edge to the leaf’s heart. Bold and vibrant, this plant has everything.

A new style of colourful-leaved begonia.  Similar in style to Begonia Rex but with several different species introduced into the breeding line (at Dibleys) to create a tougher and a more resilient plant that is less affected by changes in humidity and temperature.

With its striking burgundy, red and silver striped foliage, Begonia ‘Stellar Storm’ adds a touch of drama to any space. Its large, spiral-shaped leaves boast unique spiked edges, making it a distinctive addition to any collection.

8.  Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Yulika’ (Burncoose Nurseries; available from Burncoose after Chelsea)

This robust garden hydrangea with beautiful double pink lace-cap blooms flowers on new and old wood, so will always reward you with flowers every year, which are white and red when in full bloom.

Easy to prune in spring, it’s also very winter hardy (to -15C).

9. Scabiosa incisa ‘Kudo Blue’ (Walter Blom Plants; available from Sarah Raven)

Entered for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year, this fully hardy and compact scabious bears many larger-than-average bright blue pincushion flowers from spring to autumn. Easy to grow in well-drained soil in a bright and sunny position, it makes a fantastic choice for a mixed herbaceous border, gravel garden or container planting scheme. The flowers are wonderful for cutting and the blooms are loved by pollinating insects.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 runs from May 21-25. 

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