Earlier this year, ‘The Princess’ Lavender was crowned the 2014 Plant of the Year. This prestigious title was awarded by the Nursery and Garden Industry of Australia who added this new category to their awards process this year to recognise innovation in plant breeding.
‘The Princess’ is winning acclaim all over the globe. It’s the result of a 15 year Lavender breeding program by Plant Growers Australia (PGA), based in Melbourne. The team at PGA have a long history of dedicated breeding programs and Lavender is one of their hallmarks. Sourcing genetics from around the world and breeding varieties specifically suited to Australian conditions is what they are exceptionally good at.
The breeding team, led by Steve Eggleton and Howard Bentley, are also responsible for the successful Lavender Ruffles Collection, Lavender Lace Collection and the beautiful Lavender ‘With Love.’ All these varieties have their own special characteristics – these guys really know Lavender.
Everyone at PGA considers ‘The Princess’ to be the jewel in their Lavender breeding crown. It’s the vivid pink flower colour that really strikes a chord – the first of its kind to hit the market. Watching ‘The Princess’ burst into life in spring, it’s not hard to see why.
‘The Princess’ Lavender is an early flowering form of lavender, and is famous for bearing fantastic electric pink flower heads throughout spring to early summer, with spot flowering continuing throughout summer and autumn. ‘The Princess’ has a tight compact habit, with aromatic grey green foliage. The flowers are born on stems above the plant, forming domes of bright colour and the best word to describe the display in my mind is ‘impressive.’
Interestingly, ‘The Princess’ also offers advantages in the production stages. Losses in propagation and production are less than other varieties and the plant maintains its compact shape without additional pruning.
We’d like to share a video showing ‘The Princess’ in our own trial garden at PMA. We’re situated less than 100m from the waters edge in Tasmania – just to give you an idea of the conditions. This is a great variety for making a low hedge with – you can’t beat that colour in spring when it’s in full bloom. Those of you who love the ‘behind-the-scenes’ info will enjoy listening to Steve Eggleton, the breeder, explain his pride in winning the Plant of the Year title.
[This is a sponsored post brought to you by Plants Management Australia]