Hydrangea macrophylla First Editions® Eclipse® wins Peter Seabrook Award for Best New Plant at BBC Gardeners’ World Live

Grown by Allensmore Nurseries, the Hydrangea macrophylla First Editions® Eclipse® is crowned Best New Plant at BBC Gardeners’ World Live winning the Peter Seabrook Award.

Hydrangea macrophylla First Editions® Eclipse® by Allensmore Nurseries

The new Hydrangea has dark, almost black foliage and contrasting cherry rimmed blooms, is disease-resistant, maintains its colour all season and will be available in garden centres from next year.

Launched in 2023 in association with the Colegrave Seabrook Foundation, the Peter Seabrook Award honours the late, great plantsman. This year’s award attracted more than 100 entries, which are on display at the ‘Hot Off The Potting Bench’ gallery in the Floral Marquee at BBC Gardeners’ World Live. Visitors can walk through the open gallery to get a close up view of the plants of tomorrow. Visitors will be also be able to vote for their favourite plant for the Visitors’ Choice winner, which will be announced on Sunday the 16th of June.

To enter the Peter Seabrook Award, plants must be new varieties, colour breaks or characteristics that improve on an existing variety, and can’t have been available for sale to the public before BBC Gardeners’ World Live opened on 13 June 2024.

Plant Introductions Panel Chair, David Hurrion, the horticultural writer and commentator, said: “It’s been great to see such a broad spectrum of plants entered this year. This wonderful new Hydrangea has been ten years in the breeding and is a very worthy winner. Its fantastic flowers complement the unique foliage and will come back year after year, and it’s perfect for pots.”

Category winners for the awards are:

  • Annuals and bedding: Plectranthus Skeletal by Hayloft
  • Edibles: Apple Peter’s Gold, a seedling discovered by Peter Seabrook and developed by FP Matthews
  • Houseplants, conservatory and tender plants: Aglaonema Grand Blossom by Ansu
  • Perennials: Musa Ever Red by Thompson & Morgan
  • Shrubs: Hydrangea macrophylla First Editions® Eclipse® by Allensmore Nurseries

In the annuals and bedding category which attracted the most entries, the assessment panel of esteemed plant and nursery experts selected a list of top ten colourful bedding plants to look out for:

  1. Plectranthus Skeletal
  2. Scaevola Surdiva Passion Pink
  3. Petunia Painted Love
  4. Argyranthemum Grandaisy Big Pink
  5. Salvia Rockin™ Red Flamingo
  6. Petunia Yellow Morn
  7. Catharanthus Soiree White
  8. Osteospernum Tradewinds Yellow
  9. Thunbergia alata Sunny Susy® Tiger Eye, joint with Bidens ferulifolia Taka Tuka® M Red Yellow Centre

Bob Sweet, Horticultural Director at BBC Gardeners’ World Events said: “Developing new plants is a long and painstaking process, and no-one understood that more than Peter Seabrook, who is much missed. This award pays tribute to Peter’s passion for new plants, and we are hugely grateful to the breeders and growers that have supported it this year. It’s absolutely wonderful to see so many exciting entries displayed in the Hot Off The Potting Bench gallery and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for them.”