A proud plant breeder!

Neil Alcock

Breeder of Neptune’s Gold – Neil Alcock

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold was bred in Britain by Neil Alcock. Neil is an experienced and knowledgeable plantsman and is the manager at Seiont Nurseries in north Wales, and this is what he had to say about the plant:

During my 28 years in the horticultural industry, new varieties of plants have always interested me the most. It is the most rewarding part of my job to see a new plant that I have raised being propagated up from a single plant to tens of thousands, selling in garden centres around the UK and Europe. New plants are the lifeblood of our industry and it is great to see all the choices available to the consumer today. I am particularly encouraged by the range and quality of UK bred varieties. I have raised several of my own varieties at Seiont Nurseries over the years including Phormium, Cordyline, Hebe and Heuchera.

There is another plant though, one I found as a chance seedling in my own garden back in 2008. It was a sea holly (Eryngium) with bright yellow leaves. A bit of care and a few root cuttings later, I realised I could have a good potential variety. Micropropagation was begun in a European laboratory and Rob & Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants were recruited to trial the plant and take it to Chelsea. This Eryngium had no name and for once I had no ideas! Rosy came up with Neptune’s Gold, which I thought was a brilliant choice.

The best moment of the development was to see the first flowers. The spring foliage is bright gold which turns yellowish-green, then the flowers have a flashing steely blue – the contrast is amazing! Hardy’s have entered Eryngium Neptune’s Gold in the new plant competition at Chelsea 2014 and will have the first plants for sale to gardeners. Plants will also be delivered to stores in The Garden Centre Group during Chelsea week. We have also worked together with Coblands to supply plants to Paul Hervey-Brookes for the BrandAlley Renaissance Garden at Chelsea.

My second ever visit to Chelsea will be an exciting one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *