40 Sunbury Road takes shape ahead of RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The industry showcase exhibit; 40 Sunbury Road is gearing up to open to visitors at next week’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden, put together by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL), is run in conjunction with Peter Seabrook and The Sun and is a celebration of Peter’s 40 years working at the newspaper.

APL member Bowood Landscapes have helped to build the garden, which features ideas and inspiration from a typical modest suburban back garden, and celebrates and promotes the vibrant and strong garden and landscape industry that we have in the UK with growers and suppliers providing plants and sundries.

Martin Simmons, HTA Director of Operations said “40 Sunbury Road is a great collaboration which will showcase the UK horticulture industry at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We hope that members maximise the opportunity provided by the week long TV and wider media platform that the show provides.”

The 16m x 5m plot in the Great Marquee features plants and sundries from growers and suppliers all of which are available nationwide in UK garden centres.

The garden will include planted teapots grown by school children and dementia sufferers suggesting that anything can be used to bring fun and enjoyment into the garden. Westland Horticulture’s ‘Rising Stars’ have created specially planted containers, with the three Rising Stars themselves (Emma Blackmore from Bents Garden & Home, Kathryn Hunt from Stewarts Garden Centre and Samantha Davies from Haskins Garden Centres) will also being at the Show on Thursday, May 25 to tell the story of their container, which is based around the theme of ‘unusual containers’.

There is also a WonderWall – a living wall full of flowering plants and strawberries ready to pick as you pass by. 

The garden will feature a number of new plants including five that have been entered for RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year; Mulberry Charlotte Russe (Suttons), Pelargonium PAC Spanish Wine Rose (Cramden Nursery), Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata Joes’ (Frank P Matthews), Lilly Sunset Joy (Pinetops Nurseries) and Strawberry Just Add Cream (Thompson & Morgan).

Member grown bedding and container plants will be on display, as well as trees, shrubs and other structural elements supplied by HTA and APL members.

Companies and brands from across the industry have joined together to contribute to 40 Sunbury Road including Aylett Nurseries, Armlee Nurseries, Ball Colegrave, Barcham, Benary, Bents Garden & Home, Big,  Cramden Nursery, Dobies, Double H Nurseries,  Eden, Evi loves you!, Fleuroselect, Floranova, Forest, Frank P Matthews, Genesis, Haskins Garden Centres, Hozelock,  KADO, Majestic Trees, Myerscough College,  Neudorff, Pinetops, Plants for Europe, Quantil, Rolawn,  Seiont, Stewarts Garden Centre, Suttons, The David Colegrave Foundation, Thompson & Morgan, Westland, WoodBloX, WonderWall, Wyevale Nurseries amongst others.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place from 23-27 May 2017.


New Plant Introductions 2017

Birch (Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata Joes’)                     RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year entry
Grower - Frank P Matthews
Breeder - John de Lepper, Netherlands

This tree was found as a seedling selection of Betula pendula in Hulsel in the Netherlands in 2007 and named after the daughter of nurseryman John de Lepper, the finder,  in 2014.  Propagation is by cuttings and grafting. Its tight narrow habit and white bark are much improved features of the normal Betula fastigiata. It makes the ideal feature tree in the smallest of gardens and spaces.


Dwarf Mulberry Charlotte Russe                                     RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year entry
Grower - Suttons
Breeder - Mr Hajime Matsunaga San, Japan

Forty years ago, accomplished Japanese breeder Mr Matsunaga San had a vision to create a unique Mulberry that would be compact with tasty berries, fruiting over a long season, everything the existing Mulberry wasn’t. 30 years of hybridising culminated 10 years ago, his initial brief fulfilled with this single selection. Since then the plants were propagated in Japan before coming to Europe, where they have been propagated into commercial quantities and have been proudly introduced onto the UK market by Suttons. Initial sales and public perception have been superb and the first release sold out in two weeks. 


Asiatic Bi Colour “Sunset Joy”                                         RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year entry
Grower - Pinetops Nurseries
Breeder - Stuart Paton, Pinetops Nurseries Ltd

Pinetops Nurseries is a family firm now in its 68th year. The business moved to their new purpose built greenhouse in 2015 and is expanding its production area by 25% this year. The business been growing pot and patio Lilies for over 25 years. With a background in Chrysanthemums where you can have just about anything they couldn’t find the bi-colours needed and so decided to bread their own. Sunset Joy is the result of 16 years hard work and is a unique bi-colour Asiatic Lily with superb luscious dark green foliage even during flowering. The plant has an excellent bud count and the flowers are particularly striking.


Geranium pratense ‘Cloud Nine’
Grower - Seiont Nurseries
Breeder – Helen Warrington

Raised and selected as a seedling at Ty Cwn Nursery, Ceredigion, Wales. Selected for its large soft blue double flowers. Evaluated by hardy geranium specialists and put into tissue culture for commercial evaluation and production.  It benefits from fully double, duck egg blue flowers, has an exceptionally long flowering period (May-Sept) and has a robust habit with no requirement for staking.


Scabious Kudo White
Grower - Wyevale Nurseries
Breeder -
Mrs. Kaori Ichiba

‘Kudo White’ was developed in Japan by Mrs. Ichiba. After many years of breeding strawberries she took on the challenge of Scabious. Five years of hybridising & selection lead to Kudo Pink launched in 2015 & this year - Kudo White. The breeding target was specifically looking for larger plants more suited to 2-3ltr pots which have clean foliage more resistant to powdery mildew which can be a problem in Scabious & longer flower stems . Scabious ‘Kudo White’ is a wonderful perennial that is easy to grow, easy to care for, reliable & offers consistent garden performance. It flowers from June through to first frosts. A great plant for insects attractive for bees & butterflies all through the summer.


Salvia microphylla ‘Little Kiss’
Grower - Wyevale Nurseries
Breeder -
Luen Miller, Monterrey Bay Nurseries, California.

Luen Miller is a breeder of a wide range of perennials, shrubs & California natives, including Salvia. ‘Little Kiss’ was bred & selected on his nursery in California over many years where it was trialled and developed. It was consistently picked out by people visiting his trials and decided to develop further with an introduction into the US in 2015. A wonderful new twist on Salvia. ‘Little Kiss’ has a distinct bi-colour flower and is a very compact & well behaved Salvia that is perfect for the modern garden. It is hardy, reliable and will flower all summer long.


Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lindsey Ann’ L.A. Dreamin
Grower - Wyevale Nurseries
Breeder – John Bakale, Michigan Evergreen Nursery, Michigan, USA

This variety is a sport selection found at Michigan Evergreen Nursery in 1995. The original plant was grown for five years (to confirm flowering characteristics) before propagation was begun. Trials continued on plants propagated from the original plant through summer of 2012, primarily to validate the multiple coloured flower phenomenon. Shades of Blue, Pink and Lavender were consistently produced. Above average cold hardiness was also observed. “L.A. Dreamin Hydrangea” is different from other hydrangea macrophyllas because of its ability to generate different coloured panicles (flowers) on the same plant. This trait becomes more pronounced as the plant ages in the landscape.  Besides pure blue flowers and pure pink flowers, lavender and shades of all of these colours are produced. 


Pelargonium PAC Spanish Wine Rose                          RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year entry
Grower - Cramden Nursery
Breeder - Elsner pac Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, Germany

PAC SPANISH WINE ROSE is a new introduction by PAC in their ‘Dark Line’ series of zonal pelargoniums. The series is noted for the dark leaves of the plants, which make them better suited for propagation and transportation. The variety, which is very floriferous, has unique rose pink semi double flowers each of which have a lighter pink edge and deeper pink centre ‘eye’. The variety is early flowering and has an upright medium growth habit. 


Fragaria x ananassa ‘Just Add Cream’                        RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year entry
Grower - Thompson and Morgan
Breeder – Thompson and Morgan

In 2009 a breeding programme was started to combine the flavour of old fashioned varieties with modern everbearers and ornamental pink flowered strawberries. After 8 years of breeding, we are able to introduce Fragaria x ananassa JUST ADD CREAM ‘Tmstr14pnk’, an everbearer with an intense alpine taste, displaying masses of pink flowers and delicious fruits from May to frost. The fruits are very sweet with a strong wild strawberry aroma. The flavour is stronger than varieties with a similar aroma note, like ‘Mara des Bois’ and ‘Charlotte’. Strawberry JUST ADD CREAM has the best and most stable wild strawberry flavour to date, is everbearing, productive and ornamental with pink flowers.


Felicia Friends Azure Blue and Pure White
Kerley and Co
Breeder -
Tim Kerley/Kerley and Co

Starting with Felicia ameloides species material (not cultivars) David Kerley set out in 2003 to enhance the tame the somewhat wild summer basket item into a well balanced early spring flowering item to brighten the patio ‘flower gap’ from mid-March.  In 2006 David’s son Tim took over the breeding me and continued the development.  By 2013 a blue and white had been selected, matching in their earliness to flower and controlled habit suited to solo or mixed planting in containers- we believe the first matching pair in the market.  The two varieties ‘Azure Blue’ and ‘Pure White’ have since been extensively tested to demonstrate this.


Petunia x atkinsiana ‘Buzz Purple’ (Kerbuzzby)
Kerley and Co
Breeder – David Kerley/Kerley and Co

Buzz Purple has a special flower colour pattern combined with outstanding garden performance as a trailing Petunia.  It is one of the most rain-resistant Petunias in outdoor trials.  It produces long trailing shoots for a cascade of colour whilst continuing to flower across the top of the container.  It is hardier than many Petunias (to at least -3 degC)  and with strong hybrid vigour will flower continuously from April to November. 


Petunia x atkinsiana ‘Maria’ (Kermarsky)
Grower - Kerley and Co
Breeder – David Kerley/ Kerley and Co

Since 1999 we have tried to breed a ‘sky blue’ double hanging basket Petunia.  Until 2013 none of the crosses yielded a cultivar with all the desirable attributes for commercial introduction. A seedling selected in 2013 (after 13 years of unsuccessful crosses and more than 4000 seedlings) has been tested in UK and several overseas countries.  It has also been certified free of known viruses and viroids.


Begonia hybrid Miss Malibu
- Nadine Rijk, Dummen Orange

Begonia hybrid Miss Malibu is the result of brand new Begonia breeding. Consumers will adore this newcomer because of its gorgeous big flowers and warm colour. She has excellent garden performance which has been tested in several weather conditions. Miss Malibu is heat and shade resistant and provides a continuous colour blast on the terrace or in the garden all summer long. She requires only the minimum of care and attention in the garden and a low amount of water making her absolutely environmentally friendly. Begonias are back! What other plant gives so much colour for so long all summer long.


Additional new plants on the exhibit include:

Calceolaria ‘Calynopsis Orange with Red’ from Selecta/Meadow Croft Garden Centre.  New hardy, spring into summer flowering bedding plant.  

Phormium ‘Chocomint’, Wyevale Nurseries 

Antirrhinum ‘Pretty in Pink’ Wyevale Nurseries as above.

Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’** and *Rehmannia ‘Magic Dragon’ from Graham Spencer Plants for Europe   *also Squires  **also Beekenkamp

Begonia semperflorens ’Senatoria Rose Bicolour’  Fleuroselect/Sakata, grown by Meadow Croft. 

Pelargonium ‘Kado Dark Red’ and P. ‘Kado Rose Splash, Syngenta

Begonia ‘Bossanova’    and Cosmos ‘Apollo’ in three colours from Floranova

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