Geranium Rozanne (‘Gerwat’) representing 1993-2002 has been chosen by the public as RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Centenary. Over seven thousand people cast their vote online, choosing from a shortlist compiled from the RHS Lindley Library archives of the ten best plants launched at the show since 1913, one for each decade. The competition celebrates the enduring appeal of plants that made their debut at the Chelsea Flower Show and this was borne out in the result with almost 50% of the vote going to the five plants representing the decades between 1913 and 1962.
Voting was extremely close with runner up Lupinus Russell hybrids, which dazzled crowds at Chelsea in 1939 and has remained popular ever since, beaten by a very small margin. Geranium Rozanne (‘Gerwat’) was first exhibited at the show in 2000. Tall and fast-growing, with violet-blue flowers streaked with red, it is one of the best known hardy geranium cultivars.
Colin Crosbie, curator at RHS Garden Wisley and a member of the panel which selected the shortlist of ten said; “Good plants will remain popular and today’s result confirms the lasting impact that those plants deemed worthy of being launched at Chelsea have had on the gardening world. We grow both the geranium and lupins at RHS Garden Wisley and all ten finalists continue to be grown by gardeners and stocked by garden centres today. I’m sure they will continue delighting us for another 100 years to come.”
Henry Grub from West Sussex, the 15 year old amateur gardener chosen to represent Geranium Rozanne (‘Gerwat’) said; “Geraniums are a real favourite with my family and we have lots in the garden at home. Geranium Rozanne is a very pretty plant, it is low maintenance, will come back year after year and makes a wonderful impact in the garden.”