How do new ‘Chelsea’ plants find their showcase?

Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride 'Snow White' - photo: Thompson & Morgan

Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride ‘Snow White’ – photo: Thompson & Morgan

“A ‘New Plant of the Year’ award can mean a sales uplift from a few thousand to 100,000”, notes editor Matthew Appleby from the English trade magazine Horticulture Week, referring to the recently held Chelsea Flowers Show in London. But he also wonders how nurseries do get showcased their novelties on the catwalk of the gardening industry. He concludes that industry-led trade stands at the Chelsea Flower Show give a good opportunity to launch plants, with the Horticultural Trade Association (HTA) and Peter Seabrook’s The Sun exhibits having nine shortlisted entries in the awards and dozens on his stand. Seabrook, the the 82-year-old
Helianthus 'SunBelievable Brown Eyed Girl' – photo: Thompson & Morgan

Helianthus ‘SunBelievable Brown Eyed Girl’ – photo: Thompson & Morgan

British gardening writer and television broadcaster spends all year seeking and trialling new plants for this show. The winning Hydrangea ‘USHYD0405’ Runaway Bride Snow White from Thompson & Morgan (bred by Ushio Sakazaki, Japan) was on The Sun stand, as was third place Helianthus Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl (bred by Chris Valin) Thompson & Morgan (T&M) expects to sell around 100,000 Sunbelievable and 45,000-60,000 Runaway Bride by the end of the summer.
‘If I don’t who it, who does it?’
Paul Hansord, former horticulture head at T&M, told to Appleby that the way to get new plants into the show is to go to Seabrook, who had almost half of the 38 longlisted new plants on The Sun’s exhibit at Chelsea and 14 entered for new plant of the year, with nine on the shortlist.
Seabrook – a veteran of 60 years at the Chelsea Flower Show – makes in Horticulture Week clear that he unlikely does this all year seeking and trialling new plants again. “Though if I don’t who it, who does it?”
Garden Trials and Trade 2018
The royalty management of Hydrangea ‘USHYD0405’ Runaway Bride Snow White is done by Cultivaris. This agency also submitted the new Hydrangea to the Garden Trials and Trade 2018 in Netherlands. This spinoff from the Dutch trade fair for hardy nursery stock Plantarium which will be held this week (June 12-14) is positioned as a main event where the latest plant varieties in the area of woody plants and perennials are exhibited.
Helianthus Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl from will also be one of the highlight at the FlowerTrials 2018-display of Thompson & Morgan at the premises of Takii Europe in Kudelstaart, Netherlands. The FlowerTrials 2018 will be held this week (June 12-15) [read more].
Eryngium ’Blue Waves’ – photo: PlantHaven International

Eryngium ’Blue Waves’ – photo: PlantHaven International


Read more about second place winner at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018, Eryngium ‘Blue Wave’ here.