Rose Peter’s Persica, grown by Chris Warner and introduced by Wharton’s Roses in Norfolk, has been awarded the inaugural Peter Seabrook Award for Best New Plant at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.
Rose Peter’s Persica is a perpetual flowering climbing hybrid with a fragrant, vibrant yellow flower and distinctive red eye. Shown for the first time at BBC Gardeners’ World last summer, the new rose will be on sale from autumn 2023 via Thompson & Morgan.
The hotly-contested new award was launched earlier this year by the Colegrave Seabrook Foundation in honour of the late Peter Seabrook, and attracted 100 entries. Visitors to BBC Gardeners’ World Live can see Rose Peter’s Persica in all its glory, along with its fellow contenders, in an exciting new Hot Off the Potting Bench showcase display, located in the show’s spectacular Floral Marquee.
To be considered for the Peter Seabrook Award, plants entered must be new varieties, colour breaks or characteristics that improve on an existing variety, and not available for sale to the public before BBC Gardeners’ World Live opened on 15 June 2023.
Renowned horticulturalist, Jim Buttress, Chair of the Peter Seabrook Award for Best New Plant assessment panel, said: “The individual flowers of Rose Peter’s Persica really struck the assessment panel. They’re unique in a climbing rose and befit somebody who dedicated their life to finding something different.”
BBC Gardeners’ World presenter, Adam Frost, presented the award to Chris Warner at BBC Gardeners’ World today.
Chris Warner said: “Rose Peter’s Persica has been 30 years in the making, beginning its life as a desert rose in Iran, so I’m thrilled that it’s won the Peter Seabrook Award. It’s a climber but very easy to manage, growing to around eight feet and producing a column of colour that flowers from early June to late December.”
Peter Seabrook’s grand-daughter, Rachel, who attended the award presentation, said: “Grandad would have loved the excitement of BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the buzz that Rose Peter’s Persica has created. He’d particularly have loved the new rose’s bright colours.”
Runners up were Coreopsis verticillata Chorasan Burgundy & White by Volmary, a new variety with larger flowers blooming all summer long, and Vriesea Chocolate Girl, a new Vriesea bred by De Roose Plants with Don Billington of Every Picture Tells a Story.
Among the new plants and varieties entered for the Peter Seabrook Award were double pollen-free lilies, double Mandevilles, red sunflowers and black-fruited tomatoes. BBC Gardeners’ World Live visitors will be able to vote for their favourite new plant, with the Visitors’ Choice winner announced at the show on Sunday 18 June.
Plant expert, Nicci Gow, will be introducing some of the plants entered for the Peter Seabrook Award in daily sessions at the Let’s Talk Plants Stage at BBC Gardeners’ World Live’s Floral Marquee where she’ll discuss planting and growing tips.
Bob Sweet, Horticultural Director at BBC Gardeners’ World Events said: “Plants have always been the stars of the show at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and visitors come to see and learn about new varieties. We’re thrilled for Chris Warner and for Wharton Roses that Rose Peter’s Persica is our first ever Peter Seabrook Award winner. It really is an honour for us to remember Peter Seabrook, who was such an important member of our BBC Gardeners’ World Live family, in this way. The new Hot Off the Potting Bench showcase is a wonderful tribute to the specialist growers and plant breeders that work so hard to develop and nurture exciting new varieties for gardeners to enjoy. We have no doubt that there will be x (plant) popping up in gardens all over the UK very soon.”
BBC Gardeners’ World Live takes place at the NEC Birmingham until Sunday 18 June. Visitors will find inspiring Show Gardens, Beautiful Borders, competition gardens, school wheelbarrows, and Floral Marquee displays to enjoy, with practical advice, talks and gardening conversations from BBC Gardeners’ World TV presenters, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editors, and plant and tool experts, plus plant and garden shopping, food, drink and entertainment. Tickets include entry to the BBC Good Food Show Summer, co-located at the NEC, which features demonstrations, workshops and interviews with much-loved chefs like James Martin, Nadiya Hussain, Michel Roux and Ainsley Harriott, and street food, and delicious food and drink to taste and buy.
Tickets for BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC Birmingham are on sale now at www.bbcgardenersworldlive.comalso available on the door.
Image credit: BBC Gardeners’ World Live