The biggest event in the gardening calendar is undoubtedly the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Taking place between 23-27 May in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, it is a celebration of all things horticultural.
At this year’s Chelsea Flower show, Suttons are very excited to be entering two exclusive plants into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 Plant of the Year competition. The Dwarf Mulberry Bush Morus rotunbiloba Charlotte Russe ‘Matsunaga’ and Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum Blossom of Snow ‘Berghman’ are both new and exclusive to Suttons having been introduced this year.
Both plants will be on display in the Great Pavilion throughout the week of the show, so if you’re going to Chelsea, be sure to look.
All plants are judged over the weekend, with the winner being announced on Monday May 23rd. So keep a watch as you never know, one of these just might take the crown.
So, what is so special about these two varieties?
Dwarf Mulberry Bush Morus rotundiloba Charlotte Russe ‘Matsunaga’
Mulberry bushes are generally a tricky plant to grow. Reaching heights of around 8 metres, only producing fruit for a 3-week period and taking up to eight or nine years to do, hardly makes it an ideal fruit plant to grow in the garden.
So, 40 years ago, accomplished Japanese breeder Mr Matsunaga had a vision to create a unique Mulberry Bush, one that had a compact growing habit, produced fruit over a longer period and within a shorter period – essentially everything existing mulberries were not.
Over the next 30 years, Mr Matsunaga’s painstaking efforts of cross pollinating and hybridising different varieties of mulberries came to fruition and 10 years ago this unique and ground-breaking Mulberry Bush was born.
Growing to a height of just 1.5 metres, far removed from 8 metres that normal mulberries grow to, makes it suitable for almost any garden.
Perfect to grow in a pot on the patio and not only will it produce great tasting seedless fruits throughout summer, from June -September, but it will also look the part.
This fully hardy shrub fruits on new and old wood, so cropping will start sooner, within the first year as oppose to the usual 8 or 9 years it takes most others, meaning you can be picking the lush pip-less fruit in no time.
However, as Mulberry fruit is not readily available in shops, many people may not know just how delicious Mulberries are. Tasting not unlike a cross between a strawberry and a raspberry, with a hint of blackberry too. They make wonderful jams, sorbet, pies, muffins and even Mulberry Gin!
Launched earlier this year and a world exclusive only available from Suttons, the Dwarf Mulberry Bush Morus rotundiloba Charlotte Russe ‘Matsunaga’ sold out of its initial release in just weeks.
You can however pre-order your Mulberry Bush on www.suttons.co.uk now as there is a 2nd release despatching in September 2017.
The Dwarf Mulberry Bush Morus rotundiloba Charlotte Russe ‘Matsunaga’ is part of the Horticultural Trades Association exhibit in the Great Pavillion on Stand GPE169
You will also find the Dwarf Mulberry Bush Morus rotundiloba Charlotte Russe ‘Matsunaga’ in the Chris Evans Taste Garden at stand 290
Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum Blossom of Snow ‘Berghman’
Edelweiss is a popular alpine plant immortalised in song from The Sound of Music.
With a name that translates from German as noble and white, it has long been a symbol of courage and dedication.
Generally, found growing in the high altitudes of the alps, Edelweiss is not a plant that naturally lends itself to the normal modern garden. So, 10 years ago florist Herman Berghman began a breeding programme to create a variety his customers were looking for – large flower heads and stems long enough for a vase. Perfect cut flowers.
The result is the outstanding, aptly named Blossom of Snow with masses of snow white flowers produced at any one time.
A new and larger form than the wild variety, the flowers are more showy and being on long straight stems they are perfect for cutting. The pure white star-shaped flowers make for a dramatic floral display where the intricate details of the flowers can be best enjoyed.
Hardy down to -30°C, drought tolerant once established and incredibly easy to grow, Edelweiss Blossom of Snow will delight in a border, rockery or as a striking focal point in a pot on the patio.
So, if you love the idea of growing your own Edelweiss but don’t live in the alps – No problem. New and a UK exclusive to Suttons this variety is perfect for the UK garden.
Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum Blossom of Snow ‘Berghman’ is part of the Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries exhibit in the Great Pavilion on stand GPD186