PlantHaven announced that two new Berberis varieties have received the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The award is intended as a practical guide for the ordinary gardener. Proven and outstanding excellence continues to be the most significant factor. The award is only made after a period of assessment by RHS committees and draws upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of members, including nurserymen, specialist growers and well-known horticulturists.
Although the Royal Horticultural Society cannot evaluate woody plants under such extreme climates as ours in the United States, the trials are rigorous in comparing known varieties. Some 70 varieties of Berberis were assembled for a five year trial, ending in 2009. The trial plots were regularly visited and assessed by a panel of industry experts.
Eight new varieties were given the Award of Garden Merit, including Berberis ‘Admiration’ ( Bottom) and Berberis ‘Fireball.'
Both varieties were bred by Michal Andrusiv and have been cleared for distribution in the US. B. Admiration is a recent introduction by PlantHaven Shrub Program members and B. Fireball is a future PlantHaven Shrub Program variety which was described by the judges as “a stunning, neat, low growing plant with bright red foliage. One of the most outstanding entries in the trial.”
Other PlantHaven varieties which have received the Award of Garden Merit include Spiraea 'Magic Carpet', Caryopteris 'First Choice' and many Whetman Dianthus varieties.