With a new season tantalisingly just around the corner (though no doubt winter will get a few words in edgeways before that), it’s always nice to sit back with a hot cup of coffee and reflect on the year just past. And what better way of summing up some of 2016’s successes that by compiling our now traditional top tens?
Let’s start with the Top 10 Most Searched For Plants, as recorded by the little elves that work away deep in the basement of the Paddock Plants website. That list looks like this:
1 Linaria Peachy
2 Thalictrum Rochebrunianum
3 Epilobium (Chamerion) Angustifolium Album
4 Drimys (Tasmannia) Lanceolata
5 Echium Russicum
6 Delosperma Jewel of the Desert (generic)
7 Rodgersia Cherry Blush
8 Sidalcea Elsie Heugh
9 Sisyrinchium Palmifolium
10 Summerina (Echibeckia) Orange
Four of those plants featured in last year’s listing, but it’s nice to see some new entries in the shape of the lovely Rodgersia Cherry Blush (nice and very apt varietal name), the delicately charming Sidalcea Elsie Heugh or that vigorous but just about manageable beauty Epilobium Angustifolium Album. But the big surprise has to be Linaria Peachy, going straight to number one, though it is definitely one of our favourites, providing endless flowering and being a magnet for bees. Just outside the top 10, it was intrigiung to note the level of interest in such oddities as Rostrinucula Dependens and Carex Phyllocephala Sparkler.
But on to more important things, the definitive Top Ten Best Selling Plants (in our own little world, at any rate) for the year ending 31st December 2016. And here it is:
1 Summerina (Echibeckia) Orange
2 Hakonechloa All Gold
3 Thalictrum Black Stockings
4 Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet
5 Eryngium Jade Frost
6 Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Peridot
7 Heuchera Midnight Rose
8 Heuchera Black Taffeta
9 Eryngium x Zabelii Big Blue
10 Eryngium Graham Stuart Thomas
Once again, four plants hang on in there from the 2015 list, but the big change is that the ever popular little Eryngium Graham Stuart Thomas is dislodged from the top slot and unceremoniously demoted to the very fringe of the top ten, to be supplanted by another very sought after perennial Summerina Orange. Interesting to see two more eryngiums break into the top ten: the almost alarmingly cobalt Eryngium Big Blue and one of Rob’s abiding favourites, the variegated Eryngium Jade Frost. The compact golden grass Hakonechloa All Gold unexpectedly stormed the top positions, largely thanks to one customer who must have been planting a prairie of the stuff. And of course, the usual suspects are there: a couple of delospermas and a brace of heucheras, proving the unrelenting poularity of the latter.
And there we have it for another year. What’s in store in 2017? We would still put our 50p on Summerina Orange being there or thereabouts again. Only time will tell.
Rob & Joanna – January 2017