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Dutch launch! US launch!

It’s all go with the worldwide launches of Eryngium Neptune’s Gold!

In August, trade launches will take place in the Netherlands and in the United States. Our friends at Vitro Westland will launch Neptune’s Gold at the Plantarium show in Boskoop, starting on August 27th.

Across the Atlantic, the lovely people at Skagit Gardens will be showing off Neptune’s Gold at the FarWest Trade Show in Portland, OR, from August 21st.

If you are visiting either (or both!) oif these shows, please stop by, meet Neptune’s Gold, and say hello!

Eryngium Neptune's Gold

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold

Send us your photos!

We love seeing photos of Neptune’s Gold in your gardens – so send us your photos to and we will post the best ones here, like this one from Jonathan Marquis.

Neptune's Gold with peacock butterfly

T&Cs: By sending us your photos, you grant Plants For Europe Limited unlimited and unrestricted permission to re-use the photos without further licence. If you would prefer your photo not to be used, please indicate this when sending your photo to us.

More TV coverage

Look out for Eryngium Neptune’s Gold on ITV’s Love Your Garden show, tonight at 8pm.

UPDATE: actually, I won’t be on telly until next week – so set your recorder for 15 July!

Also, visitors to the Hampton Court Flower Show should look out for plants on the display by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, all this week!

Eryngium Neptune's Gold on Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants garden at Chelsea 2014

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold on Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants garden at Chelsea 2014

Television coverage at Chelsea

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold has been a big hit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Although it did not win the Plant Of The Year competition, for many visitors it has been the Most Talked-About Plant Of The Year!

Here, Christine Walkden and Rosy Hardy discuss what makes Neptune’s Gold such a great plant:

And Christine also shared Neptune’s Gold with Dame Julie Andrews and Sir Ian McKellen on The One Show:

Photo gallery

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!

How to get the best from Neptune’s Gold

Eryngium Neptune's Gold

A container-grown Eryngium Neptune’s Gold

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold is an easy plant to grow in any garden, just like any other Sea Holly.

It likes a sunny position (the yellow foliage does not scorch) and appreciates good drainage – avoid positions where the plant might become waterlogged. Once planted, aftercare is simple – simply remove spent flower stems at the end of the flowering season. Make sure that the plant does not become swamped by neighbouring plants – it likes a little room to show off!

You can also cut the flower stems and bring them indoors – they work really well in mixed arrangements.

Of course, you can also grow Neptune’s Gold in a pot. We think it looks particularly good in blue-glazed pots, like in our photo here. Use any good quality potting compost and ensure the plant is in a sunny spot.

STOP PRESS: shortlisted for last 20 at Chelsea!

Eryngium Neptune's Gold at Chelsea

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold in combination with Geum Totally Tangerine at Chelsea

Eryngium Neptune’s Gold has been shortlisted for the last twenty finalists for the Plant of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014!

From nearly 50 entrants, a shortlist of 20 finalists is selected by the panel of expert judges. To reach this stage is a great honour and means that the plant will be displayed in the Grand Pavilion at the show, which opens to visitors on Tuesday.

The plant has been entered by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, who will also be showing it as part of their display in the Grand Pavilion.



Eryngium zabelii Neptune’s Gold to be launched at Chelsea 2014

Eryngium Neptune's Gold

Eryngium zabelii Neptune’s Gold – the world’s first golden foliage Sea Holly

Eryngium zabelii Neptune’s Gold will be launched at the Royal Horticultural Sociey’s Chelsea Flower Show in May 2014.

Neptune’s Gold was bred by Neil Alcock, manager at Seiont Nurseries. Neil is a very experienced and knowledgable plantsman and grower. His breeding programme aimed to develop new and improved forms of Eryngium, but one seedling caught his eye, having yellow foliage.

Whenever a plant breeder sees interesting foliage, the key is to grow the plant on successfully to ensure that the colouring is interesting, attractive, uniform and stable. Neptune’s Gold ticked all of those boxes.

Neil then began to work with Graham Spencer of Plants For Europe Limited (PFE). PFE is a specialist plant breeders’ agency, working with owners of new plant varieties to help them to develop their new varieties, distribute them to the trade and protect their invention by Plant Variety Rights and Plant Patents. Graham got in touch with a specialist Dutch propagator with experience of working with Eryngium who set to work to turn the original plant into the thousands needed for the launch.

At the same time, the first plants were sent to Rob and Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants near Whitchurch in Hampshire. Rob and Rosy soon agreed that Neptune’s Gold would be an excellent plant to launch at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show 2014.

At this point, Neptune’s Gold still did not have a name – it was simply “Neil’s golden sea holly”. There was much hard thinking and head scratching, struggling to come up with a suitable name. Then Rosy suggested “Neptune’s Gold” – combining the idea of “sea” (holly) and the golden foliage – and giving a great idea for our launch promotion at Chelsea!

Neptune’s Gold will be available from Chelsea week onwards. British gardeners will be able to buy plants by mail order from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and at their nursery in Hampshire. Plants will also be available from selected garden centres across the country. Garden designers will also be able to obtain plants from Coblands Nurseries.