plant breeder Peter Smith has chosen the new Amateur Gardening Spring Show, at Stoneleigh
in Warwickshire, to present his new Alstroemeria 'Crusader Lily' to the public for the
The stunning new variety will be officially named at the Chelsea Flower Show on 28th
May, but visitors to AGSS will get to see it first.
The new variety has been named 'Crusader Lily' to commemorate their 900th anniversary
of the St John Ambulance Brigade, which has charitable roots dating back to the time of
the crusades. The charity has started an appeal to raise £20 million to buy new
ambulances, and Peter's new alstromeria will play an important part. Every plant sold for
£8 will earn the charity £1 in royalties.
Visitors will be able to see the stunning new plant in the Floral Marquee at the
Amateur Gardening Spring Show, the Midlands' newest gardening event to be held on Saturday
15 and Sunday 16 May.
The Little Princess range of alstroemerias, of which the 'Crusader Lily' will star this
year, are robust plants growing to 12 in (30cm) high. They come into flower during June
and go on until October. Once established they are hardy outdoors in most parts of the
Britain, and make long-lived border plants. When cut, the blooms will last up to a month
"The secret of their long flowering period and vase life," said Peter Smith,
"is held in the flower itself. The Princess Lilies are sterile and therefore don't
produce seed. In other flowers, pollination and fertilisation cause the flowers to die and
suppress the production of blooms."
The 'Crusader Lily' is only available on a first-come, first-served basis this year.
Plants can be reserved now for delivery in early May by contacting Peter Smith's
Chanctonbury nursery on 01903 892870 or visiting them between mid April and September at
Rectory Lane, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3AS.
The Amateur Gardening Spring Show includes superb feature gardens, a giant floral
marquee, free lectures and demonstrations from top gardeners, specialist nursery displays,
a charity gardening auction and plant previews as well as trade stands selling plants,
gardening products and equipment.
The event is a joint venture between IPC Magazines, publishers of Amateur Gardening
magazine and the Royal Agricultural Society of England.