Four Oaks judges praise new plants in hotly contested awards show

Annual trade show proves plants are back in fashion

Plants are back in fashion. That was the overwhelming feeling from this year’s Four Oaks Trade Show in Cheshire on 6-7 September. There were more than 450 exhibitors, many of them nurseries showing plants for the first time. The new product awards were hotly contested again this year, with plants figuring prominently. The Scent First range of Dianthus from Whetman Pinks won the bedding and pot plant category. Highly scented cultivars ‘Coconut Sundae’ (white with maroon blotch) and ‘Starlight’ (lilac) were exhibited for the first time. Runner-up in this category was the new tuberous grown Begonia ‘Bonfire’ from Four Oaks Nurseries. The judges felt that it resembled a Fuchsia and had novelty value. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Goldrush’, shown by New Place Nurseries of West Sussex, won the nursery stock category. A sport of Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Tricolor’, it was found, selected and propagated on the nursery. The glossy green leaves each had a wide golden margin giving the shrub excellent landscape and amenity appeal. Classiflora Imports won the award for most innovative display. The awards, sponsored by HW, were judged by consultant John Adlam, Arden Lea Nurseries managing director Duncan Taylor and Howard Nurseries managing director David Howard. The award winners Bedding and pot plants: Scent First Dianthus range from Whetman Pinks Nursery stock: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Goldrush’ from New Place Nurseries Professional products and services: Ferramol molluscicide from Certis Retail products: Simply Beautiful display unit from Ball Colegrave Professional equipment: Tea Wrap-30 pruning machine from Hamilton Design Technical excellence: In-Mould labelling technique from Netherlands-based Aufderhaar Plastic Most innovative exhibit: Classiflora Imports Best overseas exhibit New Zealand Liners

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