My garden plant of the year award.. 20 of the best for 2013.

My garden plant of the year award.. 20 of the best for 2013.

As there are only a few days of 2013 left and I’ve been for a stroll around the garden in the cool mist this morning, looking for signs of new growth and making planting plans in my head.

Inspired by a blog post from @papaver of The Blackberry Garden blog, I’ve decided to review which of my plants really pleased me this year, looking back through each months photographs its been difficult to keep it to my top 20 with a stand out star plant firmly in top place.

I’ve started the list in no real particular order except for the final 5, as if you had asked me which are my favourite plants, I would consider the question in the same way as being asked which are my favourite internal organs…

So in 20th place we have…

Hamamelis Magic Fire
Hamamelis Magic Fire

Lightly scented shrub, flowers from January, a very welcome sight in the winter.

In 19th place…


Any Snowdrop variety, always pleasing to see in the coldest winter months, it always amazes me how these dainty little plants force their way up through the frozen soil.

In 18th place…

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'
Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

A wonderful member of the Cabbage Family, flowers almost all year round, easy from cuttings.

In 17th place…

Rose ‘Geoff Hamilton’

I first saw this Rose at Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland, I could not find a label, but the scent was wonderful and spicy, further investigation in Barnsdale’s shop revealed it to be Geoff Hamilton, rather apt.

In 16th place….

Calendula officinalis 'Indian Prince'
Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’

This lovely English Marigold keeps on flowering in all but the most freezing of weather, loved by insects and a producer of lots of easy to grow seeds.

In 15th place….

Apple Blossom

A lovely site in the Spring, a promise of lots of fruits the coming Autumn, always covered in Bees.

14th place…


I’ve had much better success this year after I planted all my Tulips in big pots and containers instead of the ground, planting the bulbs at different levels & really packing them in gave me a wonderful show of flowers.

13th place….


Grown in a pot in my greenhouse with no door, bought as a baby from an Alpine Garden Show plant sale, unfortunately I’ve lost the label. Did you know it’s in the same family as the Buttercup.?

In 12th place…

Sunflower 'Shock-o-lait'
Sunflower ‘Shock-o-lait’

Grown as a trial plant for Mr Fothergills, a 5-6ft flowering whopper, flowers stood up to all the weather thrown at it, interesting dark rich coloured flowers, unfortunately pollen free so of no use to the Bees.

In 11th place..

Verbena bonariensis
Verbena bonariensis

A firm garden favourite, keeps flowering right up to the very first hard frosts, self seeds, comes back each year, and is adored by Butterflies & Bees alike. I must grow more of these little beauties.

In 10th place…   (Halfway).

Rudbeckia Cappuccino mixed
Rudbeckia Cappuccino mixed

A new addition to the garden this year, grown from seed available from the Hardy Plant Society.  keeps flowering up to the first hard frosts, many different varieties available and I already have several packets of different forms to sow for next year.

In 9th place…

Fuchsia 'mandarin cream'
Fuchsia ‘mandarin cream’

Bought on a whim last spring, a lovely Orange fuchsia that gave me a lovely display throughout the summer, cuttings have been taken for next year.

In 8th place..

Sarracenia purpurea
Sarracenia purpurea

One of my favourite Carnivorous Plants, I grow these under glass, not so much for the heat, but to protect them from the most severe downpours we often get throughout the year. 2013 has been one of the best years for them because of the strong sunlight, they have caught lots of insects and the pitchers have coloured up really well.

In 7th place…

Euonymus alatus
Euonymus alatus

A Lovely compact shrub with gorgeous fiery autumn foliage throughout the later months,  this year has been one of the best for the red colour, I’m particularly fond of this plant as I grew it from a cutting whilst working at a public gardens in Birmingham 23 years ago.!

In 6th place..

Malus 'Evereste'
Malus ‘Evereste’

My Malus is still a baby, planted in the autumn of 2012, each spring it covers itself in blossom followed my scarlet fruits in the autumn, the fruits disappear late Jan early Feb giving continuous colour until finished fruiting.

In 5th place… (getting serious now)..


Another new plant for the garden this year, I’ve never grown Zinnias before, no particular reason, I’ve just not fancied them.  After being persuaded by another twitter user to try them and getting some seed from the RHS members seed list, I’m hooked. Strong sturdy plants which also stood up to all weathers, available in lots of colours and forms, seeds already purchased for 2014.!

In 4th place…

Ricin 'impala red'
Ricin ‘impala red’

Another new plant for this garden, although I’ve grown it elsewhere. A tropical looking foliage plant, can reach 6 ft in good soil, needs plenty of water and will appreciate stalking. Saved seeds for next year already, beware the seeds are very poisonous.

In 3rd place..

Nicotiana x hybrida 'Tinkerbell F1.
Nicotiana x hybrida ‘Tinkerbell F1.

Another new plant for me, Saw this plant being used on a gardening programme so sought it out, they grew to about 2 ft tall and flowered continuously until the first frosts, sweet nodding flowers that have produced lots of seeds. Although it’s a F1 hybrid I’ve saved some seed to sow next year and will be interested to see what comes up.

In 2nd place..

Pavaver 'Ladybird'
Pavaver ‘Ladybird’

My favourite poppy, Papaver ladybird a short season annual which has striking red & black markings, easy from seed, I grow as plug plants and plant out all over the garden. Lovely plant.




Drum Roll…………………..

In first place, my garden plant of the year for 2013 is…

Echinacea PowWow Wild Berry
Echinacea PowWow Wild Berry

Echinacea PowWow Wild Berry…. A new plant my Garden in 2013.

The reason its my star plant is because I grew it from seed in the Spring, and it flowered prolifically in its first year, a lovely colour, its been covered in Bees and other insects in the summer, its short habit means its stood up to all weathers, it provides seeds in the Autumn, and I mostly love this plant as I bought the seeds last year in the sales for 50p. 🙂

So that’s my top 20 plants that really stood out for me this growing year,  I could have easily added 20 different plants, such as Sweet peas, Cornflowers, lupins, clematis etc… but had to really be strict and pick 20 plants that really stood out in this year, and its interesting that many of the top 20 were new plants for my garden, so it always pays to try some new stuff.

If you’ve stayed this long into this blog, cheers, and Merry Christmas.

Here’s to a splendid 2014 growing season.!



10 thoughts on “My garden plant of the year award.. 20 of the best for 2013.

Add yours

  1. A great list. It is hard to narrow down your choice to twenty. I always seem to be in love with whatever is in bloom at the time. But you have chosen some real beauties.


  2. Loved the photos and the commentary. And I agree 100% with this line: “if you had asked me which are my favourite plants, I would consider the question in the same way as being asked which are my favourite internal organs…” Blessings, Natalie 🙂


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