Couple's joy as new plant discovered in back garden

A little bit of Southwater could be in gardens across the world after a couple made an exciting discovery in their back garden.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 12:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 10:29 am
DM1853566a.jpg. A couple from Southwater John and Sarah Knott have discovered a new plant in their garden (Kisses and wishes). Photo by Derek Martin Photography SUS-180528-155626008

Keen gardener Sarah Knott was working on her back-garden nursery when she uncovered a colourful new plant in 2015.

She found a Salvia with a new colour variant in a batch of flowers she had been growing and immediately sent it off for rigorous testing.

After years of trials ‘Kisses and Wishes’ was declared a new variety of Salvia and was officially launched at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show last week.

Kisses and Wishes at the Chelsea Flower Show

Husband John, who helps run Forget me not plants with his wife, said: “We are really excited that Sarah has made this new discovery and that it has been confirmed that this is a new plant variety.

“For the last three years, the salvia has been grown in Europe and Israel through several generations of propagation and all the plants have remained true, with no reversion or further mutations.”

The plant itself produces masses of rich, pink flowers and is free flowering throughout the summer.

It is the fourth variation in the Salvia Wish series - joining Wendy’s Wish, Love and Wishes, and Embers Wish - and John said it is the only one to originate from the UK.

He added: “It will be a colourful addition to many gardens and patios; all from one little plant discovered in Southwater.”

So far the plant has only been launched in the UK. It was entered into the New Plant Competition by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants at the Chelsea Flower Show and was enjoyed by thousands of people, including many celebrities.

John said it will be launched in the rest of Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand next year and will be available in garden centres soon.

It will also be on display at the RHS Hampton Court show in July.

Forget me not plants hosts a market stall in the Carfax every Thursday and Saturday.