May 30, 2012 11:05
| Home and Design
The highlight of the horticultural year, this year’s Chelsea Flower Show has, like every even before it, a great showcase for some of the most talented gardeners in the world. However, this show isn’t all about people, as some rather unusual plants you might not expect to find in a UK garden featured heavily here. While many popular Interflora flowers such as roses are still striking, the flower which was given the 2012 Plant of the Year award was fully deserving of its accolade.
With its peach-tinted pink flowers, Digitalis Illumination Pink, a variety of foxglove was the big winner. Members of the many Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) committees decided this plant deserved to be top of the class because it was deemed impossible to grow. However, by cross-breeding two varieties, Digitalis canariensis and Digitalis purpurea back in 2006, someone managed to create this plant, which was on display in the Generation Gardens.
Grown by Thompson & Morgan, Digitalis Illumination Pink was one of many different-looking plants to star in Chelsea. Two types of plants which, if bred correctly, could be permanent fixtures in many gardens for years to come, took second and third place. The runner-up was Dianthus Memories, which has white flowers and grey foliage, not to mention a strong yet pleasant fragrance. Just behind it in third was Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Royal Navy’, which, as the name suggests, has dark blue flowers.
While unusual flowers were a big attraction at this year’s show, just about everything else you would expect to find there was on display. Innovative garden designs, gardening retailers trying to sell their products to keen amateurs and expert professionals a