Browsing the National Vegetable Society magazine I came across an item that noted the winners of the “Plant of the year” at the Chelsea Flower Show

In third place was Nasturtium “Fruit Salad” from Thompson and Morgan. It is sterile and therefore long blooming with a spicy fragrance and the flowers are edible!

Second place was Clematis “Lemon Beauty” from Thorncroft Clematis. It is described as a spring flowering pale yellow grapefruit scented variety.

The winner was Mahonia eurybracteata ganpinensis; variety “Soft Caress”. This is something quite different to other Mahonia varieties, instead of the leaves being hard and spiny, they are evergreen, narrow and soft to touch. It only grows to 1m high and reputed to be good for pot culture. Several nurseries have it in their catalogue but not in stock; I found one available at Coblands Nursery for £22.50.


The recent gardeners World programme recommended a Cornus ‘Norman Haddon’. Cornus or Dogwood is a large genus of deciduous shrubs and deciduous and evergreen trees and include the wedding cake tree and Cornus mas where the yellow flowers come before the leaves in spring. Norman Haddon is a spreading tree with creamy white bracts around the insignificant flowers that turn pink in summer and often crops strawberry like fruits in autumn. Available as large specimens and with equally large prices, I have located one at £11.99 from The Duchy Nursery in Cornwall.

Ralph Weston

09:29, 01 Aug 2013 by Deleted User