We promised in our last post to provide previews of plants new to our listings in 2014, so we thought we had better get a move on before the year in question arrives. For starters, then, here are three of the newbies coming next season.
Our first new plant is Abutilon Lucky Lantern Tangerine (spot the commercial series name – aren’t they awful?). This is a new compact form of abutilon originally raised in Australia with a lovely bushy habit and a proliferation of open bell shaped flowers in a beautiful shade of peachy orange or, as the name would suggest, tangerine. As it is sterile, it just keeps on blooming pretty much from late spring through to the autumn. It’s really very new to the market: as usual, the States seem to have got it before we did. But here it is and it’s a beauty.
Next up is Achillea Walther Funcke. Not shy or retiring, Walther makes a bold statement with his silvery feathery foliage topped, from early to late summer, by flat flowerheads made up of multitudinous brick red or burnt orange florets with yellow centres. These fade to an interesting terracotta sort of shade. Walther will quickly establish a strong clump. Nice chap. Some achilleas can get a bit floppy in wet or windy weather, but this one seems rather sturdier and shouldn’t cause problems of this kind.
And finally in this first preview we have Aconitum Royal Flush. Aconitum offers great value as a strong bloomer in that difficult late summer period: this is a shorter variety with two aces up its sleeve – larger than normal deep but clear blue flowers and leaves that come up a fetching shade of red in spring before maturing to glossy green. This variant on Aconitum Carmichaelii was bred by the legendary Bob Brown who runs the nursery Cotswold Garden Flowers near Evesham.
So there’s your starter for ten. Lots more really interesting plants coming up. We hope, if we can keep up the momentum, that these previews will be coming online thick and fast. They will need to, if we are to post them all before the season starts!
Rob & Joanna – December 2013