DELIGHT was Chelsea Flower Show-shaped for two of Britain’s foremost plant and seed suppliers today when they each won top honours.
Devon-based Suttons are thrilled at winning the show’s coveted Plant of the Year prize with – surprisingly, perhaps – a sedum called Atlantis.
And Ipswich-based Thompson & Morgan, along with Sparsholt College in Hampshire, claimed gold for their imaginative creation entitled Behind the Genes Garden.
Atlantis, say Suttons, is a plant for our times – drought-forgiving, suitable for small space and a magnet to bees. Its striking foliage forms rosettes of serrated green leaves with think, creamy margins and tips that turn a pink blush in autumn.
The pink-tinged flower buds open to yellow blooms that are irresistible to those busy bees.
Suttons MD David Robinson says: “Is there any coincidence that with the last five years having been the hottest on record and a global conversation taking place on climate change that this year’s winner is a timely example of a drought-tolerant plant?”
Look out for more on this astonishing plant coming shortly.
The T & M award comes just a day after their agapanthus Fireworks captured third prize in the prestigious Plant of the Year contest.
Peter Freeman, T & M’s new product development manager, says: “We’re completely over the moon. To have been so highly recognised by the RHS is a huge achievement.”
Sparsholt’s Chris Bird, senior lecturer in horticulture, comments: “It’s such an honour to have won gold in the Great Pavilion. The students who have worked tirelessly on this garden over the months are totally deserving of this award.
“I’m thrilled to say that this is the ninth gold that we’ve won for the college.”
○◙►» Winners all: Top – Suttons managing director David Robinson with the top prizewinner sedum Atlantis; above – Thompson & Morgan and the team from Sparsholt College in celebratory mood.