The tension has been building ever since I announced the short list but the time has come to crown the PPOTY 2011 champion.

The gold medal and more importantly the title goes to…

Cornus kousa var.chinensis

Easily the best performing plant in the garden this year bar none. During early summer this Cornus was simply stunning. The display lasting well over a month from late June to early august then followed by a huge crop of strawberry like fruit well in to autumn. The main attraction, other than its slightly weeping, arching habit making it a perfect specimen tree, is the display of creamy white bracts (bracts are modified leaves and not flowers) which take on a pink hue as they age. Add awesome, reliable autumn colour and you have one of the hardest working specimen trees you could ever wish for.

You may have noticed a Chinese link to the winners list this year. That may have been deliberate and is part of the build up to my trip to Yunnan next February. Following in the footsteps of the great plant hunters I will be seeing all three plants, plus thousands more, growing in their native habitat. Keep checking back for more details of the trip.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from all at Trewithen gardens