You may recall that after entering the market in Spring 2016, our new Calendula ‘PowerDaisy Sunny’ was placed third in the RHS “New Plant of the Year” award; it was the only patio plant to reach the top rankings. Val Bourne, in a judge’s eye-view of the Plant of the Year competition concluded: “If innovation truly counts, the first long-flowering, sterile Calendula, ‘PowerDaisy Sunny’, is a real breakthrough”.
The public has now given the RHS experts’ opinion a resounding seal of approval. Displayed at the RHS Wisley gardens along with many other new introductions, PowerDaisy was voted third favourite new introduction by the general public visiting the gardens during 2017. Perhaps one reason is that this year, it was still flowering in December!
PowerDaisy Sunny is an all-new plant derived from crosses between three species. It was bred by Tim, who started the project 12 years ago while he was still a student at Reading University. His aim was to bring the toughness of wild perennial Calendulas to the bright colour of annual Calendula officinalis.
The resulting hybrid produces an abundance of brightly-coloured, yellow, double daisies, amidst a wealth of dark green foliage and has a strong free-branching spreading habit. It is exceptionally hardy, being frost resistant to about -10 degrees as a young plant, tolerant of heat, rain and drought. But perhaps its biggest trump cards are its strong tolerance to disease, especially mildew, and – the avid gardener’s dream – it will not scatter lots of unwanted seedlings, being virtually sterile.
Plantsman Graham Rice said, from his experience: “A new take on an old favourite. I’ve grown this myself and I was very impressed.” Tim summarises: “Sunny will give gardeners nine months of colour, come rain or shine, in many situations, with the bare minimum of care.”
With public and professional opinion in true harmony, you might sensibly conclude that to display PowerDaisy Sunny in any garden, large or small, this season would be right on trend!