Salvia Love & Wishes from Darby Nursery Stock & Kernock Park Plants has been crowned best in show in the HTA National Plant Show New Plant Awards this week.
Judging panel member and RHS director Jim Gardiner said: "All the judges were in favour of this plant, not only winning best in category (herbaceous perennials), but also best in show.
"Salvia Love & Wishes is a great performer in the garden. It flowers continuously from May to September, which can be extended depending on weather conditions. The flower spikes extend beyond the foliage with the initial point of interest being the dark-plum calyces, shortly followed by the beautiful long-lasting claret-coloured flowers."
Voted best in category for annuals was Channel Island Plants' Bidens Beedance Painted Red, the houseplant winner was ProfitPlant UK's Little Kolibri Orchids Victoria Falls and shrubs and climbers was Javado UK's Hydrangea macrophylla 'Rendez-Vous' French Cancan. Frank P Matthews' Cherry Stardust was best in category for trees.
Plants traders or brokers were more prominent at the National Plant Show with the Dutch model of plant supply influencing UK growers.
Importers Garden Centre Fresh, Javado UK and ProfitPlant UK (Batchmere) attended the show. They have helped to lead a recovery in retail sales of plants this year, said planteria managers.
Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker said: "The way most good garden centres are working is to use reputable importers. In fact in 90 per cent of cases an English centre cannot buy direct from a grower so has to use a handling company - eg Javado, Go Green."
Garden Centre Fresh director Paul Moors said he agrees with Bunker, adding: "A lot of growers want to do direct shipments because they think they can do better cutting out but you need a good logistics partner to create that supply."