KATE'S TOP 10
1 A childhood favourite,
I’ve always loved Dicentra spectabilis, I always thought it was perfectly named - Bleeding Heart.
I love the shape and distinctiveness of the flowers but also like the texture of the plant growth. 2
I have recently returned to enjoying variegated foliage (though it took a while!), and a personal favourite is Pieris
Flaming Silver. Again, I love the Lily of the Valley shaped flowers plus the added benefit of colour in the new foliage. 3
A very recent introduction to my garden at home is a Vireya
Rhododendron. It gives a flash of colour that just keeps going and going. Tropic Glow is a favourite.
4 You can’t beat yesterday, today tomorrow
(Brunsfelsia). I love the fact that the flowers change colour over their life period, so you have the fascination of three different colours on the plant at the same time, shades of pale lilac to bright purple. 5
At the Flower Show last year I was reintroduced to heritage
roses, by our Gold Medal winners the Heritage Rose Society, a key rose in their exhibit and a new old favourite for me is Rose Fantin Latour. 6
It’s easy to forget flowering climbers in this selection, but I can’t hide my love of flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta). For me it is a real herald of spring, I love the vibrant orange colour. It has always cheered me up when often the weather is still a bit gloomy and damp.
7 Camelia ‘Quintessence’
is a lovely low growing camellia with a weeping form and simple white flowers with a hint of pink. I love to see them hanging over the edge of walls etc.
A long time favourite of mine has been Geranium Johnsons Blue, so I wasn’t 100% certain when I planted
Geranium Rozanne, however I’ve been thrilled with this variety. It has compact growth and is constantly flowering and the flowers are such a stunning shade of lilac-blue. 9
Ixora coccinea - luckily I don’t get a frost in my West Auckland garden, so this Ixora has coped admirably. Again, a blast of orange red flowers against a background foliage deep green, with a lovely fresh light green sheen to new foliage. 10
In 2017 the Flower Show was delighted to introduce Proven Winners Bubblegum Petunias as a fund raiser for the Breast Cancer Foundation. This introduction culminated in donations from the sale of these plants going to the very worthwhile charity. This stunning petunia featured significantly at last year’s show. It flowers forever and I particularly enjoy the different shades planted together.
Rhododendron ‘Tropic Glow' Dicentra spectabilis Pieris ‘Flaming Silver'