We only enter the RHS Chelsea competition if we have a truly sensational plant; to date we’ve entered twice and been fortunate enough to win on both occasions – in 2017 and 2019! This year the RHS celebrates a decade of the RHS Chelsea “Plant of the Year” competition. Many of these award-winning varieties have become garden favourites and been sold in astounding numbers.
RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade Award
The Chelsea Flower Show is celebrating 10 years of ‘Plant of the Year’ awards this year. Commemorating this achievement with the ‘RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade Award ’. Many of the ‘Plant of the Year Award’ winners have become garden favourites and sold in astounding numbers.
How Will it Work?
The coveted RHS Chelsea Plant of the Decade Award will be decided by gathering all of the winners from the past 10 years and leaving it to a public vote to decide their favourite. This year for the first time the show will also offer an opportunity for viewers to get involved as there will be an online vote for the Garden of the Decade and we believe this will be extended to Plant of the Decade too, but we wait to hear more from the RHS. Nevertheless, you can find more information about previous winners that are contenders below.
A Timeline of the Last Decade of Winners
RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Winners
2019 – Sedum Atlantis
Sedum Atlantis is a plant for our times; it’s drought tolerant, suitable for small spaces and attractive to bees. Its striking foliage forms rosettes of serrated green leaves with thick, creamy margins and tips that turn a pink blush in the autumn. The pink tinged flower buds open to bee-magnet yellow flowers. New leaves emerge in a beautifully creamy white, before developing into an attractive green with striking white borders and gradually forming a half metre wide cushion of drought resistant leaves. To top it off, this plant then covers itself with a foam of bee and butterfly magnet yellow flowers from July through to September.
Sedum Atlantis is extremely versatile and is just as happy in a hanging basket, window box or pots for indoor displays as it is outdoors in rockeries or borders. Beginners and time-poor gardeners will love its drought tolerance while bees love it for its pollen! However, like all plants, they do still need water, so ensure they don’t dry out completely in dry spells, particularly when your plant is first establishing. Flowers July-September. Height 15cm (6″); spread 30cm. (12″)
2017 – Mulberry Bush Charlotte Russe
We know it can be tricky to find these fruits in supermarkets and you can now have all the joys of growing your own mulberries without the hassle of keeping a large tree! This dwarf, compact variety only reaches a height of approximately 1.5 meters, making it suitable for any garden. It’s self-pollinating, fully hardy and fruits on both old and new wood, so you can be pick mulberries within the first year – from May right through until September!
Choose a sunny position and a good fertile ground adding multi-purpose compost. The soil should be moisture-retentive and free draining. It’s also perfect for growing in a pot! Wherever you choose, the plant may still need watering for the first year or so and during periods of dry weather.
Only prune dead wood or inwards growing and crossing branches or longer shoots, to keep the plant in a nice rounded mound shape. Flowers May-September. Height 150cm (59”); spread 150cm (59”).
Other Winners of RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year
2018 – Hydrangea Runaway Bride
A real showstopper! What sets it apart from other varieties, is its unique ability to produce flowers from every leaf joint resulting in a great flowery show with many more blooms than almost all other varieties. What’s even better is that it continually reproduces flowers from early summer through to September.
2015 – Viburnum Kilimanjaro Sunrise
A stunningly elegant Viburnum! Pure whit lacecap flowers are produced in profusion all the way up this beautifully tiered plant. As summer progresses, the flowers take on a pink tinge and in autumn the foliage turns to a lovely orange colour and red berries form, which later turn black for an additional season of interest.
2014 – Hydrangea macrophylla Miss Saori
The Hydrangea – Miss Saori has been bred by one of the most highly respected Hydrangea breeders. This Hydrangea plant was a worthy winner of the 2014 coveted Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Award. This unique Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ produces beautiful white flowers with vibrant pink tips, creating magnificent displays of colour all through your garden.