These fantastical pink flowers remind me of something that might feature in a Dr Seuss movie. I expect a whole family of microscopic people to be living within its anemone-like centre.
‘Bowl of Beauty’ is an early flowering, herbaceous peony. Their blooms are massive, measuring up to 20cm across, and have a lovely fragrance. And you’ll be making the bees very happy having this one in your garden with its open, Japanese form.
Registered in 1949 by Hoogendoorn, this Chinese peony is also the recipient of an RHS AGM (Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit).
But what’s an AGM all about?
What’s an AGM?
The Award of Garden Merit is based on assessment of the plants performance under UK growing conditions and the Royal Horticultural Society’s seal of approval for consistent performance. Beginning in 1922, this has been an award for quality to garden plants (including trees, vegetables and decorative plants) by the RHS.
What does it take to nab that AGM?
Before being awarded, the plants go through trials that are often done at Wisley and judged by experts. The plant has to be proven reliable in the garden and the AGM is the RHS’ seal of approval for consistent performance.
The award winning plants must:
- Be available horticulturally
- Be of outstanding excellence for garden decoration or use
- Be of good constitution
- Not require highly specialist growing conditions or care
- Not be particularly susceptible to any pest or disease
- Not be subject to an unreasonable degree of reversion
You will find this and more information on the AGM here – RHS AGM
This award is applied to a limited amount of plants each year so if a plant doesn’t have the stamp of approval it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t a good choice for you.
However, if you see the AGM stamp of approval you can be sure that plant is suitable for most British gardens. And it will most probably do well in yours.
Reviews of the awarded plants are done regularly to ensure that the list stays up to date. This is because some plants may no longer meet this criteria or have been replaced by better cultivars.
After a recent peony trial, the RHS awarded an Award of Garden Merit to 45 varieties of peony, 39 of which we are currently growing!
Some of these are mentioned here (thanks Country Living!)
Have you got any AGM holders going and growing in your garden already?
If not, maybe you’ll want to start with this beauty…