Top Tens for 2015

We are perhaps a little late this time in compiling and publishing our top ten lists for the year recently ended, but if you have been avidly following us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (you must have a lot of time on your hands if you do!), you will already be well clued up on these matters, as we have been releasing the exciting news on those sites over the past week or so. It is quite interesting that the top ten best sellers and the top ten most searched for plants are two very distinct lists, with only one plant in common, the recent introduction Summerina Orange, also known as Echibeckia (it’s a genetic cross, so work it out). So here are the lists:

Firstly, the top ten most searched for plants on our website are:

1   Drimys (syn. Tasmannia) LanceolataCampanula_Pink_Octopus_PP1
2   Campanula Pink Octopus
3   Echium Russicum
4   Thalictrum Rochebrunianum
5   Cordyline Charlie Boy
6   Summerina (syn. Echibeckia) Orange
7   Geum Tequila Sunrise
8   Lobelia Tania
9   Sphaeralcea Childerley
10 Tetrapanax Rex

Drimys, the pretty evergreen shrub from down under which tops the rankings seems to make this list every year, but is up eight places from last year. The other plants with staying power are Echium Russicum, last year’s number one, Geum Tequila Sunrise (must be something in the name) and Sphaeralcea Childerley with its gorgeous apricot flowers. Of the rest, it is interesting to note that, despite all the fancy new varieties that abound,  old favourite Thalictrum Rochebrunianum is the one that is up there.

But the more important list has to be the best sellers and here it is in all its glory:

Summerina_Orange_PP11   Erygium Graham Stuart Thomas
2   Actaea Black Negligée
3   Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet
4   Delosperma Wheels of Wonder Orange
5   Summerina (syn. Echibeckia) Orange
6   Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Peridot
7   Geum Mai Tai
8   Geum Cosmopolitan
9   Dicentra King of Hearts
10 Primula Francisca

The thing that is striking here is the preponderance of delospermas and geums, making up half of the top ten, no less. We can understand why, though, as they are all vibrant long-term bloomers. Delospermas Garnet and Peridot are back again this year, but the WoW Orange we won’t be growing, as we felt that its growth habit was a bit too floppy for our taste. No surprise in finding Geums Mai Tai and Cosmopolitan here (the latter is Rob’s all-time favourite geum), nor, indeed, Primula Francisca which always sells well, despite its rather marmite-like reputation. Actaea Black Negligée is simply gorgeous, so deserves its high ranking, and we are pleased that the hugely reliable Dicentra King of Hearts creeps into the top ten (it just goes on flowering from spring to autumn!). And there, at the top of the charts, sits the charming little Eryngium Graham Stuart Thomas, delicate but undemanding and a worthy winner. We guessed it might be up there, as it accompanies us to virtually every show we do from March to September and always proves popular with the buying public.

And there we have it. With lots of new plants coming on to our catalogue for 2016, it will be interesting to see, in 12 months’ time, if any of them can shake up these lists.

Rob & Joanna – February 2016