Begonias have been voted a plant favourite in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual People’s Choice Awards.
Visitors to RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey were asked to vote for their favourite from 84 new varieties trialled over the summer, with the basket and bedding classic securing the top two spots.
The pink-frilled petals and lemony aroma of winner Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Bounty Coral’ (pictured here) and vibrant red of runner-up Begonia ‘Fortune Scarlet’ captivated visitors to the garden. Both have ideal habits for hanging baskets and benefitted from the hot summer, blooming prolifically from July to September. In third place was Lantana camara ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’ that boasts an attractive pink and orange colour contrast, pollinator appeal and ability to withstand summer stresses
Visitors to the garden were also asked to vote for their favourite marigold as part of a Europe-wide trial led by Fleuroselect – an international organisation for the ornamental plants industry – to celebrate the Year of the Marigold. All 148 entries thrived in the hot, dry summer with the winner – lemon-coloured ‘Alumia Vanilla Cream’ (pictured here) – revealing a preference for unconventional varieties. Second and third were ‘Durango Bee’ and ‘Pots of Gold’.
People’s Choice Awards – New Plant Variety Winners
(1) Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Bounty Coral’ (Sweet Spice Series)
(2) Begonia ‘Fortune Scarlet’ (Fortune Series)
(3) Lantana camara ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’ (‘Balandrise’) (Lucky Series)
(4) Petunia ‘Sanguna Blue Vein’ (‘Potliblue’)
(5) Lantana camara ‘Lucky Red’ (Lucky Series)
People’s Choice Awards – Marigold Winners
(1) Tagetes patula ‘Alumia Vanilla Cream’ (Alumia Series)
(2) Tagetes patula ‘Durango Bee’ (‘Pas2255’) (Durango Series)
(3) Tagetes patula ‘Pots of Gold’
(4) Tagetes ‘Zenith Red’
(5) Tagetes patula ‘Durango Flame’ (‘Pas2254’) (Durango Series)
Sabatino Urzo, Trials Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society, comments:
“The People’s Choice Awards are an opportunity for visitors to tell us their plant preference, with the results hinting at what we might see growing in gardens in the coming years”
“That begonias have beguiled with their bright, showy flowers and silky, deep green foliage is really no surprise – they are already perennially popular with many gardeners and are now turning the heads of a new generation. It’s likely we’ll see many more illuminating hanging baskets and summer beds across the country.”
The People’s Choice Awards form part of an annual trials programme run by the RHS. In 2019 it will trial around 30 different genus including raspberries, peonies and lilies at RHS gardens and nurseries across the UK. Plants exhibiting the best health, performance and weather endurance are given a much coveted Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
All images copyright RHS.