lant personality of the year awards 2008

The first annual plant personality of the year awards are upon us. I have chosen the top three using various criteria (mainly I like them) which include flower, foliage, texture and form. 

In reverse order:- 

Third place bronze medal to:

Rhododendron sino-nuttalli from N/ India and Yunnan in China this tender species has metallic purple unfolding leaves followed by lily like white, scented flowers in June and July. If you have a sheltered site and want to grow only one rhododendron then this is the one for you. Stunning! 

Second place and a silver medal to:

Zanthoxylum armatum Just about the prickliest/spiny plant you could ask for. It comes from Sikkim. Its twigs can be used as a toothbrush if you're ever caught short without one. Best in full sun to part shade

Finally the moment you may have been waiting for: 

First place and the coveted gold medal goes to:

Schefflera macrophylla. The most gorgeous shrub in the world Ever! Massive tropical looking leaves that can reach a meter in length. A Fatsia on steroids. Copper indumentum covers the new growth as the leaves emerge. Hardy and lush. Deserving of the gold medal. Plants may be available from Crug farm in Wales (although I had to beg a little bit to get mine)

Many thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope to see you in March when the gardens re-open.