LOUISE MIDGLEY reveals the varieties of plants named after Royal Princesses including the new Clematis Charlotte and Auricula Charlotte, named after Kate and William’s baby daughter
Following the birth of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, two outstanding plants have been named after her to mark the royal baby’s arrival. This follows a long tradition of members of the Royal Family being honoured in this way and, needless to say, only the most outstanding plants are awarded this accolade.
Wyevale Garden Centres have launched an exclusive new limited edition (5,000 available) of Clematis Charlotte, available at all 147 retail outlets, priced at £14.99.
This stunning introduction has large, double, pale lilac/blue flowers, which emerge in May. Grow it next to a pergola, through climbing roses or shrubs, or against a wall or fence. Either way it needs tying in, as clematis aren’t self clinging.
Clematis thrive best in well-drained soil that has been improved with some organic matter. Bury them deeply to keep the root run cool and to avoid ‘clematis wilt’ a disease they can contract if planted proud of the surface. Given the right position, they will delight for years.
www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk / 0344 272 3000
Lucinda Costello, RHS Head of Shows Development
Drointon Nurseries unveiled their beautiful new Auricula Charlotte at the RHS Malvern Spring Show soon after the arrival of the Princess.
Drointon owner Annabel Graham said: “We’ve been keeping our cultivar under close wraps since the Duchess of Cambridge announced her pregnancy last September. We are delighted to mark this momentous occasion with our new auricula and are sure it will be popular because of its namesake.”
Coincidentally the soft buttermilk flowers perfectly matched the Jenny Packham dress worn by The Duchess of Cambridge when she left hospital.
Orders can be placed for Auricula Charlotte at Drointon Nurseries for delivery when stock has been sufficiently increased.
www.auricula-plants.co.uk / 01765 641849
Clematis Montana Elizabeth
Clematis ‘Elizabeth’ is an old favourite and perhaps the most fragrant of all the montanas with a sweetly scented vanilla perfume.
This vigorous deciduous climber can grow to nine metres and will tolerate shade and is therefore ideal for a north-facing aspect.
In late spring/early summer it is smothered with a profusion of soft pink flowers with golden yellow centres against a backdrop of young bronze foliage.
www.taylorsclematis.co.uk / 01302 700 716
Queen Elizabeth Rose
The Queen Elizabeth Rose has been a favourite with gardeners since 1954. It’s a robust variety with exceptional vigour that provides continuous flowers throughout summer and an excellent resistance to disease. As a bush, floribunda rose, it will grow up to seven feet tall and is a good back-of-the-border specimen or can be used for hedging. The double blooms are a clear pink and rise up on long stems above dark green shiny foliage, making it one of the best roses to pick for a vase.
www.davidaustinroses.co.uk / 01902 376 300
Clematis Princess Diana
Belonging to the Texensis group of Clematis, Princess Diana flowers on the current year’s growth in mid summer to early autumn. Cut it back to 18 inches at the end of February to promote plenty of new growth and ensure flowering isn’t just on the end of long shoots. It has a mass of delightful, tulip-shaped, magenta flowers with cream and maroon stamens that nestle among mid-green leaves.
The species texensis naturally grows along stream banks and woodland edges, which suggests it requires moisture and good drainage in a sunny or semi- shaded position.
www.vanmeuwen.com / 0844 557 1850