Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Blackberry Garden Plant of the Year Award 2015

Yes it is that time of year again, the now annual declaration of the plant that has made the most impact in the garden this year.  This is the third year I have made this award.  In 2013 the prize went to Rosa Hyde Hall, it was a deserved winner and it still rates very highly year on year.  2014 saw the prize going to Chrysanthemum 'Rainbow', a plant I still love but that did not do well for me this year.  I look at my runners up and it does not feature sadly.  The methodology is mainly based on whim, my garden is mainly based on whim so it seems the most consistent approach.  Anyway, enough of the preamble, let us consider the runners up:

In no particular order those that deserve special mention are:
Alyssum is a plant that I first grew last year and is now one that I regard as a must-grow.  It has not done hugely well this year but it has struggled on and kept flowering.  It deserves a mention for perseverance if nothing else.
This nicotiana is also heading for a perseverance award, first planted two years ago it has now got through two (mild) winters.  It has wonderful scent and I have even forgiven its green flowers.  I am not a lover of green flowers, but this one has got through the exclusion net.
Scabiosa 'Crown', also almost perennial as it has got through a winter or two.  This has flowered for months and bees love it.  It is a superb garden plant and truly deserves its special mention.
This sedum, name unknown (I call it Eddy), was acquired from a cutting and has been propagated so that now I have several of these plants.  It is not a fashionable dark leaved one, but I love it very much.  It flowers well and the bees and other insects love it.  As it ages the flowers darken and darken and eventually will go brown.  Over the winter it stands there proud giving much needed structure to the borders.  This is a fantastic plant to have in the borders, as I am writing this I am wondering why it is not the winner, so lets put it as a very close.
Poppies have to be in the list and this is one of my favourites from the whole year.  Hard not to love in my book.
Roses also will always feature and it is hard to choose which one gets a mention.  I have gone for Rosa Mundi but it is more a symbol than a 'this specific rose'.  I love roses and would not garden without them.
Primula Don Keefe sneaks in.  This plant was recommended to me and I have to say I am glad I bought one.  I love the colour and it flowered well earlier in the year and is just starting to flower again.  It deserves a mention.

There is a runner up,
Dill, dill is the runner up.  It almost won, it was winning until just the other day.
It has grown well and been a good mixer with other plants.  I have fallen in love with it and will be growing it again (and again).

The winner though just nosed through the winning tape.
and it is Coronilla valentina ssp. glauca 'Citrina'.  I bought this plant in 2013 from a talk I went to given by my good friend at Swines Meadow Farm Nursery I was taken with the plant when I bought it as it had a wonderful scent.  I planted it up and it grew fairly well in its first year or two, but this year it has really matured.
It is a bit sprawly and likes a bit of a hair cut in the spring to keep it from straggling about too much.  It has flowered pretty much all year, well in my mind it has anyway.  It certainly seems to have been flowering every time I have noticed it.  It gets lots of points for that alone.  It sprawls well, I like plants that sprawl well, popping up through other plants, not smothering but adding to the overall effect.  

What makes this plant win though is the scent.  Every now and again I will be weeding away in the border, or just wandering past and I think 'what is that wonderful scent?'.  I stop and look around and then I realise it is the Coronilla, I smile and resume whatever it is I am doing.  This is what makes it the winner this year.  You may now applaud enthusiastically. 

3 comments :

  1. Nice blog, enjoy these a lot. Keep up the good work Alison, Thanks.

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  2. Thanks! Really enjoyed your post..'Eddie' truly is a gorgeous sedum! Don't see ones with that deep shade of plum around here : / As you say they are such a pollinator magnet. Shall look forward to more of your botanical musings : )

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  3. My daughter gave me a Coronilla, but I have a feeling that our soil was too wet for it as it just faded away, yours looks very healthy though. I sometimes think that the original of a plant turns out to be better than later introductions, or so I've found here when I've been tempted to buy the "new kid on the block"

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