“The Holy Grail of horticulture”

Daphne Perfume Princess

Daphne Perfume Princess

As a people, we New Zealanders tend to be a little more reserved than our Australian neighbours across the Tasman. So I post this link to their prime time Channel 9 last night with a slight sense of unseemly boasting. But to have somebody of the stature of Don Burke declaring Mark’s Daphne Perfume Princess to be the Holy Grail of horticulture and the best new plant to be released in Australia in the last 50 years is high praise indeed.

This knight...

This knight…

We knew the story was going to air. We had been sent photos – Don donning a knight’s costume in a theatrical take on the search for the Holy Grail. Indeed, we had raised our eyebrows at Channel 9 wardrobe department’s selection of a knight’s costume owing to the fact that we think it was King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table who were in search of the Holy Grail, not so much the Templar Knights of the Christian crusades…. But no matter, Don carried it off with panache.

Mark’s comment is that the ultimate challenge for a plant breeder is to take a really well known, common plant and to make it better. We hope he has achieved this with Daphne Perfume Princess. Others certainly think so.




11 thoughts on ““The Holy Grail of horticulture”

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      He is certainly a natural on TV. We have never met him but after his kind words about Mark and his plant, I am sure we would really like him!

  1. cathsample2013

    Well done! Great to see credit going where it is due. It looks beautiful and I imagine the scent is wonderful. My record for keeping daphne alive is not good, but I am very tempted to try again.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Oh but you are not alone in failing to keep daphne alive. A former colleague in the nursery trade once told us he grew lemon trees – because you can sell one to every household – and daphne – because everybody has to replace their daphne bush every five years. If a daphne will grow in your conditions, this one should.

      1. cathsample2013

        Thanks! So far I have managed to keep some of your fairy magnolias and some Rhododendron Nuttallii looking healthy for more than a year, which has been more of a challenge than it sounds in our coastal windy garden with limited tank water and occasional visiting cattle.

  2. Julia edwards

    I live in Sydney and am most excited to plant your daphne. Great news as I’ve had the common problem of their lack of longevity.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      We have trouble testing for different climates in our soft climate here, but indications overseas are that it will thrive in a wider range of climates than usual Daphne’s. This is pretty encouraging news to us.

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