Begonias top RHS People's Choice Awards

Friday 5 October 2018

Begonias have been voted a plant favourite in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual People’s Choice Awards.

Visitors to RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey were asked to vote for their favourite from 84 new varieties trialled over the summer, with the basket and bedding classic securing the top two spots.

The pink-frilled petals and lemony aroma of winner Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Bounty Coral’ and vibrant red of runner-up Begonia ‘Fortune Scarlet’ captivated visitors to the garden. Both have ideal habits for hanging baskets and benefitted from the hot summer, blooming prolifically from July to September. In third place was Lantana camara ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’ that boasts an attractive pink and orange colour contrast, pollinator appeal and ability to withstand summer stresses.

Visitors to the garden were also asked to vote for their favourite marigold as part of a Europe-wide trial led by Fleuroselect – an international organisation for the ornamental plants industry - to celebrate the Year of the Marigold. All 148 entries thrived in the hot, dry summer with the winner – lemon-coloured ‘Alumia Vanilla Cream’ - revealing a preference for unconventional varieties. Second and third were ‘Durango Bee’ and ‘Pots of Gold’.

People’s Choice Awards - New Plant Variety Winners

1 Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Bounty Coral’ (Sweet Spice Series)
2 Begonia ‘Fortune Scarlet’ (Fortune Series)
3 Lantana camara ‘Lucky Sunrise Rose’ (‘Balandrise’) (Lucky Series)
4 Petunia ‘Sanguna Blue Vein’ (‘Potliblue')
5 Lantana camara ‘Lucky Red’ (Lucky Series)

People’s Choice Awards – Marigold Winners

1 Tagetes patula ‘Alumia Vanilla Cream’ (Alumia Series)
2 Tagetes patula ‘Durango Bee’ (‘Pas2255’) (Durango Series)
3 Tagetes patula ‘Pots of Gold’
4 Tagetes ‘Zenith Red’
5 Tagetes patula ‘Durango Flame’ (‘Pas2254’) (Durango Series)

Sabatino Urzo, Trials Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society, comments:
“The People’s Choice Awards are an opportunity for visitors to tell us their plant preference, with the results hinting at what we might see growing in gardens in the coming years.

“That begonias have beguiled with their bright, showy flowers and silky, deep green foliage is really no surprise – they are already perennially popular with many gardeners and are now turning the heads of a new generation. It’s likely we’ll see many more illuminating hanging baskets and summer beds across the country.”

The People’s Choice Awards form part of an annual trials programme run by the RHS.

In 2019 it will trial around 30 different genus including raspberries, peonies and lilies at RHS gardens and nurseries across the UK. Plants exhibiting the best health, performance and weather endurance are given a much coveted Award of Garden Merit (AGM).


Notes to editors

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.

We are currently investing over £160 million into the future of horticulture, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2020. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit

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For more information please contact Tara Pahari in the RHS press office: / 0207 821 3040

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

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