New perennials to launch at Chelsea

Multi-gold medal winning, UK independent nursery, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, are returning for the 27th year to the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where this year they will be launching three new exciting, long flowering perennials – Digitalis ‘Firebird’, Salvia ‘Amethyst Lips’ (pictured banner above) and Dianthus ‘Cherry Burst’.

New introductions are always eagerly awaited at Chelsea and Hardy’s offering this year will prove no exception.

‘Firebird’ has adopted the very best traits from each of its parents, Digitalis ‘purpurea’ and ‘canariensis’ and has shown to be robust and vigorous. It grows to 120 x 60 cm in dappled shade or sun in any good soil.

It has been developed by breeder John Fielding who has been growing Digitalis hybrids for several years with the aim of producing plants with improved garden qualities. The variety is bound to be setting borders alight from May to October with its abundant 90cm spires of delicious warm reddish-pink coloured flowers which have deep apricot tones in the throat and classic Digitalis freckles on the inside of the flower.

The variety has also shown that it is more winter hardy than other Digitalis surviving down to -7 Celsius as a container grown plant. It will be hugely popular with pollinators, especially bumblebees, and for those gardeners who like to also enjoy their blooms indoors, ‘Firebird’s’ cut stems have been found to last up to 10 days.

The aptly named jewel like Salvia ‘Amethyst Lips‘ is a stunning bi-coloured rich purple and white flowered, shrubby perennial. It is a subtler and perhaps more easy to place relative of the highly popular Salvia ‘Hot Lips’. It flowers throughout June and October and grows to about 100cm x 75cm. It will be equally at home in either a mixed border or a large pot in moist but well drained soil in full sun.

Dianthus ‘Cherry Burst’ (pictured below) has been bred in the UK by Whetman Plants International who are based near Exeter in Devon. It is one of a new generation of single flowered, full hardy Pinks, which is shorter in stem, growing to just 15cm high, making it perfect for a pot or border. Flowering continuously from May to September, ‘Cherry Burst’ has interesting chocolate coloured buds which open to a deep maroon eye. It also has a delicious perfume.

Hardy’s will display all three new introductions on their stand at RHS Chelsea (GPF205). They will be available to order or buy (from May) at Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants Nursery in FreeFolk. Visit for more information.

All images strictly ©Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants 2018.