Plant of the Centenary: The Official Shortlist

Starting to bounce back after a hard winter: Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' in my garden yesterday
We had a lot of fun choosing our own Plant of the Centenary, and now we get to do it all over again with the RHS's official shortlist :)

There are some truly landmark plants: Russell hybrid lupins; a Heuchera,  and Geranium 'Rozanne' - how many plants can claim to be the subject of a court case? There's also a nod to the gardening legacy shaped by the plant hunters, in the form of Pieris formosa var. forrestii

My congratulations goes to Shirl, whose chosen favourite is amongst the shortlist of 10: the pictured Erysimum. Sadly I can't find my picture with a hummingbird hawk moth dancing attendance one summer, so I've had to make do with a snap taken yesterday.

Each plant has its champion, matched by their decade of birth as well as the plant's Chelsea debut. It's worth looking at them on the RHS's site, purely for the wonderfully named Chelsea Pensioner who champions the Saxifraga 'Tumbling waters': Sergeant Stan Pepper :)

All that remains is to get voting everyone!

I have 3 out of the 10 in my garden. How does yours fare?


  1. Oooh. Only two, including the saxifrage. Rather like the Cornus though.

  2. Thanks for the results update (and link) with some bias perhaps but I think Erysium ‘Bowles’s Mauve should win or at least be runner-up but I’ve a feeling (with this country favouring roses) the winner could be Rosa ‘Iceberg’. Bowles's has my vote :-)

    I am pleased to say I can claim 5 out of the ten growing in my garden with Erysiumum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’, I have Heuchera Palace Purple (divided many times), I have Pieris Formosa (bees are feeding on its blossom just now), I have the wonderful blooms (much photographed) of Rhododendron yakushimanum which the bees also love, and newbie to my garden Geranium Rozanne – another one bees visit. Looking back at the whole list I think bees will visit every bloom – I bet the RHS considered this :-)

  3. I have a deep dislike for Heuchera so I wont be voting for that. I wasnt that keen on the list, for some reason it left me a bit disappointed but I cant quite work out why.

  4. Only two here - geranium 'Rozanne' as well as Shirl's excellent choice. I had rosa 'Iceberg' in my previous garden. Have had a quick look at the other candidates but the jury is still out here :)

  5. I have 3-the Pieris, heuchera and lupin, although I don't really count any as a true favourite. Well, perhaps the Pieris is a small favourite! The new garden , you will be pleased to hear, is full of heucheras and there are rhododendrons, although whether any are Yaks remains to be seen.
    I agree with Helen, the list seems to be a little underwhelming

  6. I have 'Rozanne', 'Palace Purple' (at least, I'm pretty sure that's which one it is) and that's it. Interesting list, I am like Helen, rather underwhelemed overall, but there again, a list like this is never going to appeal to everybody, so restricted is it. I do plan on getting 'Bowle's Mauve' though...

  7. Rusty Duck - I always hanker after a Cornus at this time of the year. They do look spectacular.

    Shirley - 2 of the 10 aren't suited to my garden (the Pieris and the rhodo) because I garden on limestone. I'm thinking about getting the Saxifrage though...

    Helen - I've been looking at Roy Lancaster's article The Garden and I suspect a Primula may have come close to making the list.

    Anna - I'm thinking about changing my Geraniums, but probably not to 'Rozanne'. There were some cracking alternatives mentioned at Great Dixter :)

    EITGR - I can imagine the arguments they had over it though!

    Janet - strangely I wasn't underwhelmed but I was prepared to be because I usually am when I see the 'Plant of the Year' shortlist. Perhaps it's because many of the plants are 'garden workhorses' rather than the ones which really leap out at us as the stars of our own gardens?


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