Up plant quantities, says Alcock

Call for plants launched at RHS Chelsea Flower Show to be available in commercial quantities.

Brazilian tree fern: will be available for the public to buy next year
Brazilian tree fern: will be available for the public to buy next year

New plants launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show should be available to the public in commercial quantities straight away to avoid disappointing gardeners who see the plants on television but cannot buy them, according to Seiont Nurseries general manager Neil Alcock.

Seiont is growing Pyracantha Golden Paradise and Blechnum brasiliense 'Volcano', which it plans to have at Chelsea 2015, and Alcock has bulked up numbers so they will be available to buy in 2015. He is also growing Plantagogo-bred heucheras, which will launch at Chelsea and at garden centres in the same season.

There will be 3,000 pyracantha available bulked from a single plant three years ago, with Coblands having the UK exclusive for 2015 and the plant being available via mail order post Chelsea.

The Andrew Parker-bred plant is the first pyracantha with pure gold foliage, white flowers and orange berries. Plants for Europe is agent for the plant, as it was for Eryngium 'Neptune's Gold' in 2014. Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants is again showing the plant at Chelsea.

Alcock said: "We're looking at more co-ordinated plant launches working around Chelsea. It's frustrating if you see plants shown at Chelsea you can't buy for one or two years. They should be available in commercial quantities if people see them there. With the publicity you get there, not having them available for one or two years defeats the object."

Plants for Europe owner Graham Spencer said: "One thing we're focusing on is to hold back things from being given to the public before the plant has some sensible availability. It's difficult because you have to second-guess the publicity you get for a plant. A plant is only new once and you have to make that count."

The RHS states that plants must be available from a nursery including an exhibitor at the show but does not stipulate quantities.

The Brazilian tree fern is also available at Coblands. Rickards Hardy Ferns will be exhibiting it. Designers Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam used it in their best-of-show exhibit at the Singapore Garden Festival.

Sell-out plant

In June 2011, Horticulture Week reported that Anemone 'Wild Swan' was selling out around the UK following its award as plant of the year at the very first plant of the year contest to be run at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Breeder Elizabeth MacGregor ran out of stock at Gardening Scotland, while fellow exhibitor Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants, which showed the anemone at Chelsea 2011, also had none for sale. Hayloft Plants, ran out two weeks after Chelsea.


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