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Rock Plants in Flower Competition Winners!

March 30, 2021
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Our Rock Plants in Flower competition ran for 4 days and had 141 remarkable entries! Find out who won and what the judges had to say below.

It was an all star cast on Twitter last week as 141 glorious entries were made into our Rock Plants in Flower competition!

Not only did we love seeing the beautiful photos, we were also bowled over by the amount of interest in the competition, which generated 100,000 more views than we’d usually see in a month – all in 4 short days. Wow!

Entries were judged anonymously by the marvellous Ray Drew with a bit of help from stewards, Rob Amos and David Charlton. Big thanks to all three!

…But who won?!… Drum roll please!

Winner: Best Whole Rock Plant in Flower

Corydalis solida, grown by Ian Instone

An experienced exhibitor, Ian Instone entered this fabulous Corydalis solida and took the competition by storm.

Judges chose this from among the stunningly fierce competition, as the best entry of a whole rock plant in flower in the entire competition. Congratulations Ian!

Here’s what the judges had to say:

‘An extremely attractive plant, totally in character and well grown. The balance of leaf to flower ratio is exceptional as, often, when specimens get to this size, they become lax and unbalanced. This goes to show that an easily obtainable plant, when grown to this high standard, can beat the most intractably difficult plants and win shows.’

Ian wins a handsome collection of rock gardening treasures, which will be making their way out to him soon!

You can see Ian revealing some of his top tips on growing Favratia (aka Campanula) zoysii in this virtual talk he gave for our members a few months back.

Winner: Best Rock Plant in Flower Close-Up

Primula (allionii x carniolica) x albenensis, grown by Steve Walters

Massive congratulations to Steve Walters on winning our close-up category with this absolutely fabulous Primula!

And the judges said…

‘The winner of the ‘close-up’ category was labelled Primula allionii x renifolia x albenensis but, with great respect, we think this is actually Primula (allionii x carniolica) x albenensis. No matter what the name, it’s a great picture – the flowers are set off beautifully against the farina-covered foliage. Immaculate flowers at the peak of perfection.’

Congratulations Steve! Your rock gardening goodie bag will be winging its way to a UK address of your choice shortly.

Winner: Group of Rock Plants in Flower

Tulipa turkestanica & Anemone blanda, exhibited by Alan Briggs

The judges were hugely impressed by this beautiful collection of tulips and anemones, entered by Alan Briggs.

‘This shot screams springtime and captures these plants at their best – not a dead flower in sight on either the Tulipa turkestanica or the Anemone blanda. A beautiful combination of both colour and form from these commonly available plants, with a hint of rockwork to let the viewer know their favoured garden location.’

Rock gardening tools and memorabilia will be in the post momentarily. Marvellously well done, Alan!

Runner-up: Whole Rock Plant in Flower

Kelseya uniflora, exhibited by Peter Hood

Another expert grower, Peter Hood showed off some top growing skills with this entry of Kelseya uniflora. The plant is presented as it would be if it were going to a real live flower show – top dressed and framed to perfection. (Find out how with our video ‘How to Get Your Plant Flower Show Ready.’)

And the judges said…

‘The incredibly difficult denizen of limestone and volcanic cliffs in north-western North America, Kelseya uniflora, came a very close second in our whole plant category. Just outgunned by the floriferousness of the Corydalis that won.’

Thank you for entering, Peter! Your prize will be on its way to you shortly.

Runner Up: Rock Plant in Flower Close-Up

Tulipa humilis ‘Alba coerulea oculata,’ grown by Helen Brown

The mesmerising deep blue centre of this fabulous tulip had people’s eyes popping out all over Twitter… and it didn’t stop there! Behind the scenes, the judges were also captivated by its incredible form.

‘Runner up in the ‘close-up’ class was this rather classy-looking tulip. With its pristine-white petals and deep blue heart, Tulipa humilis ‘Alba Coreulea Oculata’ is a once-seen must-have bulb. Available from most good bulb-dealers and easy to grow in a container or well drained, sunny spot in the garden.’

Huge congratulations, Helen! Thank you for brightening our competition with this gem. You prize will be winging its way to you shortly.

Runner Up: Group of Rock Plants in Flower

Trillium chloropetalum with Cardamine quinqefolia, exhibited by Celia Sawyer

Huge congratulations to Celia Sawyer, who entered this marvellous shot of two beautiful rock plants in flower, both of which are sought-after favourites in our Society!

‘Runner up in the ‘Group shot’ class shows a gorgeous form of Trillium chloropetalum, the Californian wake-robin, with its burgundy, three-petalled flower framed beautifully by the soft pink flowers of the Cardaminea great combination for the cooler rock garden.’

Your prize will be posted out to you shortly!

Highly Commended Entries

We only had 6 prizes to give away, but my goodness did we have more than 6 that deserved a prize!

Here are some of the judges’ highly commended entries – click on the picture to find out more about each one.

More Favourites!

…and we’re still going strong! Feast your eyes on the following beautiful flowers that filled our Twitter feed with such delight.

While this competition was judged on the health, vigour and appearance of the plants entered, some of the entries also showed great artistic merit as well. Enjoy!