The longstanding lavender breeding program by Victorian plant breeders PGA (Plant Growers Australia) has had great success. With a number of lavender collections under their belt, and worldwide success of many varieties, they are certainly the Australian authority when it comes to lavender breeding. Plant breeding programs can often take years to come to fruition with a new selection that offers something with real merit. Sourcing new and varied genetics in itself can be a challenge, and that’s even before the breeding starts.
‘The Princess Lavender’ has just hit garden centres again around the country and it’s fair to say the spring batch is selling like hot cakes. It’s the bright pink flower colour that does it – you just can’t go past those vivid tones if you’re looking to create impact in the garden. It really is a versatile plant – use it as a low feature, in containers, as a hedge – and it’s also great if you’re after that country charm in the garden. Of course the added bonus is that beautiful lavender fragrance which is always welcome. It’s also good to remember that lavenders are handy to plant near fruit trees and vegie patches to help attract pollinators.
‘The Princess Lavender’ brings a new pink intensity to the genus. When in full bloom, the pink flowers really stand out against the grey-green foliage. It’s this great new colour that has caused the real stir, and led to this plant being awarded in the Product Innovation category in the 2013 Australian Business Awards. The awards are open to products and services in all industries, so it’s terrific that a plant can take the cake in such a widespread program. The award not only recognises the novelty of the plant and the new colour- the darkest pink available- but also the research and development leading up to it – which spans over 15 years by the team at PGA. ‘The Princess Lavender’ offers advantages in the propagation and production chains as well, making it easy to supply stock in reliable numbers. This is an important factor when trying to ensure consistency for retailers right around the country.
To bring an extra dimension to the story, here’s a video from the breeders. It explains the key attributes of ‘The Princess Lavender’ and gives you a great idea of just how amazing this plant looks in the garden. The video is also interesting as it demonstrates that for a new variety to be commercially successful it needs to tick other boxes ‘behind the scenes’. It’s amazing how many new plants don’t make it into garden centres as they fail the trialling process – it’s important not only that they perform well in the garden, but are reliable in propagation, meet rigorous production requirements, can be transported easily and so on. The road to commercialisation can be a long one, often full off lots of speed humps.
Keep an eye out for ‘The Princess Lavender’ this weekend. It’s worth adding one to your garden and seeing what all the fuss is about!
[This is a sponsored post from Plants Management Australia]