New phormium, euphorbia, and hydrangea varieties among most popular at Wyevale Nurseries retail showcase

Herefordshire nursery Wyevale Nurseries opened to garden centres this week to showcase new plants for 2017 and 2018.

Ben Gregory with Kokodama
Ben Gregory with Kokodama

They included the most popular as voted for by visitors, a phormium intended for 2018 launch.  Product development coordinator Ben Gregory said the name will be revealed at a later date.

He added: "This new Phormium really breaks the mold. It’s an extremely compact grower with incredibly fine bronze foliage that will work very well in patio containers. It’s also low maintenance and perfect for the modern gardener." 

Gregory said that an unnamed Armeria, Ilex 'Little Rascal, Hydrangea 'Magical', Phormium 'Chocomint', Ligustrum 'Sunshine', Buddleia 'Dreaming Lavender' Pittosporum 'Beach Ball' and Euphorbia 'Frosted Flame' intended for 2018 launch, had proved popular varieties on the open day.

Dianella 'Wyeena', Daphne 'Perfume Princess' and Primula 'Ooh La La Pink' were top choices. Wyevale Nurseries is also trialling a Kokodama string garden made from coir - a Japanese art form.

The wholesale nursery is growing more phormium, pittosporum and grisellina in particular, said container production director Steve Reed.

He said 800,000 liners a year are potted and showed garden centre visitors around the nursery and talked of expansion plans. he also showed how Wyevale's IPM programme on phormium cuttings worked.

Managing director Andy Johnson said: "We're making steady progress trying to improve the infrastructure bit by bit."

He said there were plans for further glass and polytunnels and a new IT systems.

Johnson said garden centre trade was steady but he had not seen the groups stocking volumes as they once did and that the season was "a few weeks behind" and waiting for footfall.

He said housing, leisure and education work was helping the other side of the business.

Johnson said listening to customers and "being light on our feet with a spread of trees, transplants, shrubs and herbaceous" was the key to success.

He said Brexit had "pushed people to buy UK-grown" but overheads had risen and worker availability was a concern. Mechanisation, apprenticeships and management trainee programmes are an answer.

Wyevale sales and marketing director Adam Dunnett said nursery tours were popular as was the 'introducing stage' of new plants. PlantFest allowed attendees the opportunity to see these lines first and cast their vote on how commercially viable they think they could be. 

Euphorbia 'Frosted Flame'

Primula 'Ooh La La Pink'

Daphne 'Perfume Princess'

Phormium Chocomint

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