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Hydrangea wins Peter Seabrook Award for Best New Plant at Gardeners' World Live

Hydrangea macrophylla First Editions® Eclipse® has been crowned Best New Plant at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and wins grower Allensmore Nurseries the coveted Peter Seabrook Award.

The exciting new Hydrangea has a striking appearance with dark foliage and contrasting cherry rimmed blooms, centred in lime, and is ideal for a centrepiece pot or as part of a larger landscaping project. The deep purple - almost black – disease-resistant foliage maintains its colour all season. It will be available to buy from garden centres from next year.

Launched in 2023 in association with the Colegrave Seabrook Foundation, the Peter Seabrook Award honours the late, great plantsman. This year’s award attracted more than 100 entries, all of which are on display at the Hot Off The Potting Bench gallery in the spectacular Floral Marquee at BBC Gardeners’ World Live (NEC Birmingham, 13-16 June). Visitors can walk through the open gallery to get a close up view of promising plants of tomorrow.

To enter the Peter Seabrook Award, plants must be new varieties, colour breaks or characteristics that improve on an existing variety, and can’t have been available for sale to the public before BBC Gardeners’ World Live opened on 13 June 2024.

Plant Introductions Panel Chair, David Hurrion, the horticultural writer and commentator, said: “It’s been great to see such a broad spectrum of plants entered this year. This wonderful new Hydrangea has been ten years in the breeding and is a very worthy winner. Its fantastic flowers complement the unique foliage and will come back year after year, and it’s perfect for pots.”

Category winners for the awards are:

Annuals and bedding: Plectranthus Skeletal by Hayloft
Edibles: Apple Peter’s Gold, a seedling discovered by Peter Seabrook and developed by FP Matthews
Houseplants, conservatory and tender plants: Aglaonema Grand Blossom by Ansu
Perennials: Musa Ever Red by Thompson & Morgan
Shrubs: Hydrangea macrophylla First Editions® Eclipse® by Allensmore Nurseries

In the annuals and bedding category which attracted the most entries, the assessment panel of esteemed plant and nursery experts selected a list of top ten colourful bedding plants to look out for:

1 Plectranthus Skeletal
2 Scaevola Surdiva Passion Pink
3 Petunia Painted Love
4 Argyranthemum Grandaisy Big Pink
5 Salvia Rockin™ Red Flamingo
6 Petunia Yellow Morn
7 Catharanthus Soiree White
8 Osteospernum Tradewinds Yellow
Joint 9 Thunbergia alata Sunny Susy® Tiger Eye
Joint 9 Bidens ferulifolia Taka Tuka® M Red Yellow Centre

Plant expert, Neil Gow, will be introducing some of the plants entered for the Peter Seabrook Award in live sessions at the Let’s Talk Plants Stage, sponsored by Hillier, in the Floral Marquee. Visitors will be able to vote for their own personal favourite at the Hot Off The Potting Bench gallery, with the Visitors’ Choice winner announced on Sunday 16 June.

Bob Sweet, Horticultural Director at BBC Gardeners’ World Events said: “Developing new plants is a long and painstaking process, and no-one understood that more than Peter Seabrook, who is much missed. This award pays tribute to Peter’s passion for new plants, and we are hugely grateful to the breeders and growers that have supported it this year. It’s absolutely wonderful to see so many exciting entries displayed in the Hot Off The Potting Bench gallery and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for them.”

Other Floral category awards presented at BBC Gardeners’ World Live today were:

· The Geoff Hamilton Award for Best Floral Display – In The Garden Houseplants
· Best Retail Area, sponsored by Legal & General - In The Garden Houseplants
· Best Display of Late Summer Plants - Proctors Nursery
· Best Plant Village Display – P&K Davis Nursery

A new award for the Floral Marquee was Best Orchid Display, presented to the Orchid Society of Great Britain with a Platinum award. BBC Gardeners’ World is the new home for the annual International Orchid Show which features displays by many of the UK’s top orchid growers, societies and specialists.

The BBC Gardeners’ World Live awards were presented at the Let’s Talk Plants Stage, sponsored by Hillier. Hosted by David Hurrion, the stage is the perfect place for visitors to get top tips from plant specialists including Hillier’s Head of Wholesale Nurseries, Charles Carr, each day of the Show.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 13-16 June. Highlights include the stunning Show Gardens, Beautiful Borders and Floral Marquee, the Let’s Talk Plants stage, Plant Expert advice desk, an Urban Gardening Area for town and city garden inspiration, practical workshops, and the Get Growing Stage for ‘plot to plate’ advice. At the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre, there’s entertaining gardening chat with Monty Don, Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Nicki Chapman, and seasonal garden tips from the editors of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Shopping is a major attraction with quality plants and a wide range of garden goods to browse and buy in the Plant Village and House Plant Hub. There’s a Plant Crèche for easy shopping, children’s activities and the Health for Life School Wheelbarrow Competition.

Tickets for BBC Gardeners’ World Live are on sale at (transaction fee applies) and on the door, and include entry to Good Food Show Summer ( Highlights include demonstrations, theatres, stages and talks, book signings, tastings and workshops, street food, and delicious food and drink to taste and buy. Celebrity chefs and experts include Nadiya Hussain, James Martin, Michel Roux and Becky Excell.

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This story was published on: 14/06/2024

Image attribution: BBC / GWL

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