We’re thrilled to announce that our entry ‘Hydrangea hybrid ‘Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ has today been awarded the prestigious accolade of RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year.
When we announced yesterday that no less than five of our seven entries had made the shortlist of 20 plants selected by RHS plant committee members, we hardly dared to hope that one of these would take the renowned title at judging today. In fact, our home-bred entry, SunBelievable™ ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ has taken third place, giving us two slots in the Plant of the Year top three!
‘Hydrangea hybrid ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ is completely unique in that it flowers not only from its terminal buds as with traditional hydrangeas, but also from virtually all the lateral stem buds. Flowering from late spring/early summer well into autumn, Hydrangea hybrid ‘Runaway Bride’ produces a profusion of lacecap white flowers flushed with pale pink – often 6 along each branch – on graceful, trailing stems.
Paul Masters, our Head of Horticulture, comments this afternoon from RHS Chelsea Flower Show:
“We’re completely over the moon to have taken first and third places in this year’s RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year. ‘Runaway Bride’ is a truly spectacular plant – I’ve never seen so many flowers on a hydrangea! To see six blooms on each branch is unheard of. It really is incredible!”
SunBelievable™’Brown Eyed Girl’ is the latest of our many breeding successes. This brand new hybrid has been perfected over 8 years by Thompson & Morgan’s in-house breeding team, headed by Charles Valin. Like no other sunflower, SunBelievable™ flowers on unique multi-branching plants continuously from May until the first frosts. In trials, plants were still blooming in November! Ideal for containers as well as borders, each plant produces over 1,000 flowers during the growing season.
Head plant breeder, Charles, says:
“I’m incredibly pleased to hear that SunBelievable™’Brown Eyed Girl’ has been awarded a place in the top three Plant of the Year at RHS Chelsea. I set out to breed a new hybrid that wouldn’t waste time setting seed and would put all its energy into flowering. In creating this amazing new sunflower, I’ve crossed the very best with the very best to really boost its flower power. It’s a huge honour to have our hard work recognised by such a prestigious body.”
Easy to grow, quick to recover if neglected, heat and drought tolerant, SunBelievable™ is the first cutting-raised annual sunflower with multiple uses as a pot plant, patio decoration, bedding and as a cut flower.
All our shortlisted plants as well as other shortlisted entries are available from www.thompson-morgan.com/chelsea-2018
Sonia works at Thompson & Morgan in the role of press and communications officer. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach to gardening and believes that this helps to encourage bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)
How do I overwinter my brown eyed girl to ensure it comes back next year?
Unfortunately this plant is an annual and so it won’t flower again next year. Once it finishes flowering, its life cycle is complete, so it will naturally die off. There’s nothing to stop you taking a cutting from the plant as long as it is not for commercial propagation for which a licence is required. However, we don’t think that the cuttings would be particularly successful. Our SunBelievable™ plants are raised from high-health, elite mother stock which is renewed each season to make sure that the ensuing plants retain their exceptional vigour and are disease-free. The fact that the plants are cutting-raised themselves would not make them suitable ‘parent’ plants.
Your best bet is to place an order for some replacement plants for next spring.
All the best
Well done to everyone for your amazing results at Chelsea. I was watching the show when they were talking about the Runaway Bride, is that the one that climbs without any help of trellis etc if so it’s one for me as is the sunflower especially as its small enough for pots and borders, they are such a happy plant. Many congrats to Thompson & Morgan
Well done Thompson &Morgan on getting 3rd place for Sunbelievable “Brown eyed girl” I eagerly look forward to taking delivery of the 2 I ordered earlier in the year , they caught my eye in the brochure and I thought they looked stunning and will be a great addition to my garden .
Congratulations on your win. M y Gardener planted two of these
Black eyed Susan plants in lovely pots outside my bay window. At
the time I didn’t know the plant but it produced SO MANY flowers,
I have ordered two from you this year. They have been admired
by people passing my house.
Congratulations on your plant awards. I’ve purchased the Brown Eyed Girl and can’t wait to see if grow as well in my garden. Fingers crossed with prayers for enough but not too much rain to keep our gardens beautiful.
The hydrangea sounds absolutely fab. Can’t wait to get one!
Congratualtions on the plant awards. They are truly beautiful and sound like they will do quite well in the garden. Many flowers and easy to care for are both qualities gardeners treasure.