Four Oaks shows off new plant varieties

More than 28 plants and three series were introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show last week.

Choisya 'White Dazzler' from Wyevale Nurseries was judged the overall winner across all six categories in the new product awards.

Judges said it was "a more dwarf form of an old favourite", which "will prove very popular for those with small gardens, and has huge retail potential".

The yellow- and green-leaved Sunpatiens 'Spreading Salmon Variegated' from Sakata Ornamentals UK won the bedding and pot plant category. Judges' chairman Graham Clarke said it had "incredibly strong leaf patterning, is highly floriferous and a real winner with huge volume potential".

Heucheras were popular, including varieties bred by US Terra Nova Nurseries - Heucherella 'Tapestry', with its deeply veined foliage, is available from Fairweather's and Heuchera 'Georgia Peach' is offered by Seiont Nurseries.

West Kingston Nurseries also introduced Heuchera x 'Miracle'. This variety features yellow spring foliage, which develops to a deep red as it ages and it displays pink flowers.

Several structural plants were on the new stands, including Phormium 'Back in Black' from Seiont Nurseries. The compact, bushy variety was selected five years ago from a batch of Phormium purpureum by Seiont general manager Neil Alcock. It is said to be "the darkest of all the phormiums available".

Other architectural varieties were a silvery-yellow plumed pampas grass available from German firm Heinje Baumschulen and Cordyline 'Southern Splendour', with pink and purple-striped leaves, introduced by John Woods Nurseries.

Young Plants introduced the first F1 hybrid Rudbeckia 'Tiger Eye Gold' alongside the accent plant Ptilotus 'Joey', which has striking bottlebrush neon-pink flower spikes and is heat- and drought-tolerant.

Penstemon Elgar 'Nimrod' is a new dwarf variety that was bred by Edward Wilson, which is said to flower from May and to be hardy down to -20 degsC.

Finished plants will be available from Knowle Hill Nurseries in spring next year and growers will be able to get plugs from Evesham Vale Propagators then.

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