Search for Floors flower

THE Duchess of Roxburghe this week issued a plea to anyone growing a lost carnation named after Floors Castle to get in touch.

The cerise pink flower was registered in 1970 but is no longer growing at the castle.

The duchess said: “We would be delighted to hear if anyone knows if it is being grown so we can reintroduce it to Floors.”

The duchess was speaking on Tuesday when it was announced that the castle is reintroducing two other heritage carnations from the original collection first registered at Floors in 1957 and 1968.

She also revealed castle gardeners will partner developing a new perpetual flowering carnation, named Earl Kelso, with Marshall’s Malmaisons grower Jim Marshall.

The duchess said: “Carnations were a great pride and passion of both the present duke’s father and the former head gardener James Riddell. We have been anxious not to lose the links to these important old Floors varieties and have therefore decided to reintroduce them with the help of Jim Marshall, who has been such a source of valuable information and knowledge.”

The last duke was patron of the British National Carnation Society (BNCS) and Mr Riddell, Floors head gardener from 1946 to 1980, was an enthusiastic grower and exhibitor of perpetual carnations, winning numerous awards. He also raised several cultivars, including the two that are being reintroduced.

The reintroductions include the Duchess of Roxburghe (1968), a pale pink self with good scent, which was exhibited at the BNCS autumn shows in 1968, 1971 and 1972, winning the Daily Mail Challenge Cup each 

Also coming back is the Duke of Norfolk (1957), a plum self with a purple sheen, which is said to have been named after a close friend of the Duke of Roxburghe because it matched the colour of his nose.

The Earl Kelso, a creamy white self raised by Marshalls’ Malmaisons, was launched at the Hampton Court Flower Show last year.

The new and returned carnations go on sale at Floors Castle Plant Centre on July 20.