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Edward Wilson's Pensham Penstemons

Edward Wilson

Who was Edward Wilson?

 

Edward was born in East Sheen, Greater London in May 1948. He spent much of his childhood in a house opposite Kew Gardens, which is where, when walking with his mother Dorothy, he first saw Penstemon.

Educated at Westminster School, London and John Lyon School, Harrow his interest in Horticulture sent him to Jersey where he spent two years at the Experimental Station, training to become a fruit farmer then on to Pershore College where he studied for a further two years.

In 1972 he married Stella and together they purchased land in our village of Pensham, a small hamlet no more than ½ mile from Pershore college in the county of Worcestershire, and also now home to Hayloft Plants. They built a home on this land and together they started their business, Pershore Plant Raisers, growing outdoor salad crops and vegetables for the wholesale markets in the West Midlands before moving into bedding and pot plants. In 1985, they decided to specialise in Penstemon breeding.

During the following 20 years, Edward successfully bred and marketed over fifty Pensham varieties, eight ‘Fruits of the Forest’ varieties and more recently six ‘Elgar’ varieties, all bred through the application of his skill, dedication and love. Pensham Just Jayne, a fluorescent magenta pink became his favourite, and the main crossing parent line for many of his varieties.

Edward and Stella have received many guests from around the world who have an interest in Penstemon. These include the American Penstemon Society and several Japanese nurserymen. Edward’s legacy of Pensham Penstemon will always have their roots firmly planted where they were created.

Pershore Plant Raisers, continues with Stella Wilson at the helm, helped by her daughter Sally Saunders and son James, both of whom had plants named after them by their father.

Edward was a quiet man who listened rather than talked. With much persuasion from his family, he named one of the new varieties after himself Pensham Ted’s Purple.
 

Hayloft Penstemons:

 

We at Hayloft are highly honoured and delighted to be able to offer this very special range of penstemon as it includes some of Edward’s final work.

Pensham Amelia Jane, named after a family friend. Deep cerise flowers with clear white throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Arctic Fox, originally called Choir Boy. Pure white flowers. Height 45cm (18”).

Pensham Avon Belle, named as Edward lived near the River Avon. Each flowers has a pale base and a rich pink trumpet with a pale throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Bilberry Ice, one of the Fruits of the Forest Collection. Purple flowers with white veined throat. Height 120cm (48”).

Pensham Blackberry Ice, from the Fruits of the Forest Collection. Deep purple flowers. Height 70cm (28”).

Pensham Blueberry Ice, from the Fruits of the Forest Collection. Large blue flowers, white veined throat. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Capricorn Moon, named after Edwards son’s boat, as in his 20’s James did not want a flower named after him. Very pale peach flowers fading to chiffon pink with a salmon red streaked throat. Height 60cm (24”).

Pensham Czar, named after a plum grown locally. Rich plum coloured flowers with a clear white throat. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Dorothy Wilson, named after Edwards mother. Tall and elegant with pale lilac blue flowers and burgundy streaked throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Eleanor Young, was an 18th birthday gift for the daughter of a special friend. One of the darkest Penstemon, with deep rich blackcurrant flowers with a deeper throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Freshwater Pearl, the name describes the colour perfectly. Pale pink flowers with a white throat. In late summer the flower fades to a pearly white. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Great Expectations, when seen in the trials ground Edwards’s daughter Louise commented that she thought it had great expectations. Lilac trumpets with white throat and lilac edges. Height 70cm (28”).

Pensham Just Jayne, named after Edwards main propagator. When Edward said he would name it after her, she said you can’t call it Jane Pullen, he decided to call it Just Jayne. Deep rose pink flowers with a magenta throat. Height 120cm (48”).

Pensham Kay Burton, named after a family friend. Large vibrant pink flowers. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Laura, White flowers with pink edges. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Loganberry Ice, another of the Fruits of the Forest. Deep rich pink flowers with white veined throat. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Louise Wilson, Edward and Stella’s daughter. Buttermilk flowers tinged with shades of peach and apricot. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Marilyn, named after a friend. Cerise pink flowers with white throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Marjorie Lewis, a dear friend and housekeeper when Edward was at college. Deep cerise flowers with darker marking. Height 70cm (28”).

Pensham Plum Jerkum, named after the old fashioned drink made in the Vale. It knocks your socks off! Large burgundy flowers with white streaked throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Raspberry Ice, one of the Fruits of the Forest. Raspberry red flowers with deep veined throat. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Skies, Edward named this new variety shortly before he died. Mauve blue flowers with white streaked throat. Height 110cm (44”).

Pensham St James, named after a school in Malvern that raised money through the sales of this plant for the Desmond Tutu School in South Africa. Fluorescent red flowers with darker streaked throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Tayberry Ice, a Fruits of the Forest variety. Large rose pink flowers with white throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Ted's Purple, named after Edward himself. Large strong purple flowers with white streaked throat. Height 110cm (44”).

Pensham Tiger Bell Coral, named by a volunteer from Pershore College, who commented that the stripes looked like a tigers stripes. Coral pink flowers with pale throat and dramatic dark streaks. Height 60cm (24”).

Pensham Tiger Bell Rose, named by a volunteer from Pershore College, who commented that the stripes looked like a tigers stripes. Rose pink flowers with pale throat and dramatic darker streaks. Height 60cm (24”).

Pensham Wedding Day, specially named for daughter Sally’s wedding. Each table at the reception was adorned with a different Pensham Penstemon. White flowers. Height 100cm (40”).

 

Ever Expanding:

 

We also have other Pensham Penstemon varieties that we hope will be included in our selection soon;

Pensham Arctic Sunset, a friend had flown over the Arctic and said that this is what the sunset had looked like. Bright fuchsia pink flowers with red streaked throat. Height 70cm (28”).

Pensham Cardinal, Deep cardinal red flowers with a dark collar and a white throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Cassis Royal, a friend had seen this plant growing in the trials ground and had just had a pudding named Cassis Royal which was the same colour. Large red purple flowers with colour blending into a paler throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Celebration, a great plant to celebrate with! Large open redcurrant flowers with a dark streaked pale throat and dark collar. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Charles Romer, named after Dr Charlie Romer who was a great mentor to Edward. Fluorescent red flowers with a pale throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Claret, named because of the deep claret flowers with dark streaked throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Daybreak, the colours reminded Edward of the colour of the sky at certain time of the year. Clusters of peach coloured flowers that shade to pink with a white throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham The Deans Damson, Edwards son James was a member of the Worcester Cathedral Choir. The choristers would sing as they collected damsons to give to their mothers to make jam which would be sold to raise funds for the choir. A rich damson flower with white throat and darker markings. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Edith Biggs, named after Edwards Godmother. Large rich deep cerise flowers with a dark claret collar. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Fields, named after the Pensham village area. Large, vibrant raspberry pink flowers with a dark collar and white throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham James Wilson, named after Edwards son. Large sunset red flowers, with deeply serrated lobes. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham John Palmer, named after a surgeon who helped a friend. Large lilac flowers with plain deep burgundy throat. Height 110cm (44”).

Pensham Mischief, for the mischievous children! Very pale chiffon with maroon streaked throat.

Pensham Miss Wilson, to celebrate Sally becoming a teacher. Mauve pink flowers with white throat and magenta markings. Height 80cm (32”).

Pensham Paddy Gross, named after a long term friend with a great knowledge of horticulture. Deep mauve flowers with white throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Petticoat, frilly pink edging on white trumpets, much like a petticoat. Height 60cm (24”).

Pensham Plum Dandy, named after the fruit which is grown locally. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Prolific, named after the fruit. Blackcurrant purple flowers with plain white throat. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Son of Raven, though the flowers on Raven were beautiful, Edward thought the leaf needed improvement, so Son of Raven was developed. Dark purple flowers. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Suzanna, named after a friend. Bluish white flowers with ice blue edge. Height 90cm (36”).

Pensham Twilight, reflecting colours in the sky. Rich cranberry coloured flowers with crimson streaked throat. Height 110cm (44”).

Pensham Victoria Plum, named after Stella and Edward's neice, she had been given the nickname of the popular locally grown fruit. Blue mauve flowers with a magenta throat. Height 100cm (40”).

Pensham Walter Gross, named after Paddy’s husband. Deep cerise flowers. Height 70cm (28”).

Pensham Wedding Bells, with bell shaped flowers. Buds are rich buttermilk fading to ivory. Height 60cm (24”).

 

 

If, for any reason you are not delighted with your purchase, just return it to us within 21 days.

We promise to exchange the item or return the price you paid for the item in full. This is in addition to your statutory rights.

Hayloft Plants will not agree to refunding the costs of returning the parcel to us.

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