It’s Sunbelievable! World exclusive new sunflower from our own breeding programme

‘Sunbelievable’ features:

  • Very floriferous and free-flowering
  • Stunning bicolour blooms
  • Multi-branching
  • 1,000 flowers over the growing season
  • Fabulous cut flower
  • Hugely decorative patio plant
  • Truly compact – Height: 60cm (24in) Spread: 100cm (39in)
  • Day length neutral – blooms even on shorter, less bright days
  • Sterile – so no pollen but still very attractive to bees
  • Heat tolerant – great for hot, sunny borders
  • Thrives in any well-drained soil
  • Will recover quickly if left to dry out
  • Deadheading improves flowering performance

Today we’re launching our latest world exclusive plant breeding success. Sunbelievable is a truly phenomenal new sunflower. Like no other sunflower, Sunbelievable flowers continuously from June until the first frosts. In trials, plants were still blooming in late November. Incredibly, over 1,000 flowers are produced on each plant during the growing season!

Paul Masters, T&M’s Head of Horticulture, said:

“Sunbelievable is an amazing breakthrough in decorative plants for the garden in an area that has been distinctly lacking in innovation in previous years. We expect this fabulous new sunflower to make a real impact in people’s gardens – its non-stop blooming will appeal to sunflower lovers and gardeners everywhere.”

Set to create quite a media buzz, Sunbelieveable is the product of eight years of work by our breeding team. Head plant breeder, Charles Valin’s vision was to breed a sunflower that was long-flowered and which could be used and enjoyed as a bedding plant as well as in containers.

Charles comments:

“I was always disappointed by the garden performance of traditional pot sunflowers. I’ve crossed the very best with the very best to really boost the plant’s performance. I still can’t believe how many flowers this plant can produce! I also realised that it was the energy that the plant put into setting seed that was preventing it from flowering for long. So I aimed to create a new hybrid that would not set seed and would therefore carry on flowering all summer long.”

Sunbelievable is available exclusively from our website for delivery from April 2018. £14.99 for a 9cm potted plant or £19.99 for two 9cm potted plants (saving £9.99).

 

Sonia Mermagen

Sonia returned to Thompson & Morgan in the role of marketing copy writer in 2016. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia is a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’. In her own garden, Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach and believes that this encourages bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)

Heavenly Hellebores – Thompson & Morgan World Exclusive

Anemone Flowered Mix                                                                             Double Flowered Hellebore ‘Selene’

Our plant breeding team is proud to unveil its latest success – two brand new and exclusive mixes of hellebores, the UK’s favourite winter-flowering plants. What makes these hellebore mixes so special is that they are both 100% true to type. This has never been achieved before. Stock is only available from T&M and is understandably limited, but gardeners can pre-order from our website now for delivery next spring.

The hellebores featured in the Anemone Flowered Mix are truly breath-taking with their exquisite central ruff of small petals, pleated like a ballerina’s tutu. They look so delicate, but in fact are incredibly hardy. There are six different varieties in the mix, each one with unique colouring and markings, but all flowering 100% true to type.

The Double Flowered Mix is another selection of six stunning hellebore varieties. Each one is uniquely coloured and patterned, but is 100% double across the mix. Perfect for winter perennial planting schemes, our resident plant breeder, Charles Valin, recommends growing them on a gentle slope where they can really show off!

Charles says:

“We’re renowned for our hellebore breeding programme at Thompson & Morgan, so we have seen some amazing breeding breakthroughs over the years, but these two new mixes are really superb. It’s unheard of for a mix of hellebores to bloom 100% true to type!”

 Hellebores have long been a favourite of Britain’s gardeners. Flowering for well over three months, these tough, durable plants provide colour at a time when gardens are usually drab and wintery.

Why do UK gardeners love hellebores?

It’s because:

  • They provide a long-lasting flowering display from late winter to spring
  • They are robust and long-lived hardy perennials
  • They attract bees and other pollinators, providing food when it is most scarce
  • They make great cut flowers, particularly at a time of year when there’s not much else in the cutting garden

Anemone Flowered Mix comprises varieties Aurora, Juno, Ceres, Diana, Discordia and Juventus and is available from £14.99.

Double Flowered Mix comprises varieties Selene, Athena, Demeter, Artemis, Eris and Hebe and is available from £14.99.

Height and spread up to 40cm (16in)

For more information on Thompson & Morgan’s hellebore breeding programme, go to www.thompson-morgan.com/hellebore-breeding-programme

Sonia Mermagen

Sonia returned to Thompson & Morgan in the role of marketing copy writer in 2016. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia is a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’. In her own garden, Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach and believes that this encourages bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)

Exciting new additions to T&M seed range

 

Poppy ‘Supreme’                                                                                                    Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1

We’re thrilled to be releasing two new seed varieties in the next few weeks. One, Poppy ‘Supreme’, is yet another innovative new flower from our own breeding programme. The other, Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ will most certainly be welcomed by gardeners who struggle to grow tomatoes outside due to the ever-present danger of blight.

Poppy ‘Supreme’ lives up to its name. Its fully double flowers are three times larger than those of other similar papaver rhoeas varieties and boast exquisite crinkly petals with picotee edges in pink, cherry and orange tones with white centres. Growing to a final garden height of 75 cm, Poppy ‘Supreme’ is long-flowering and multi-branching, making it ideal for direct sowing in borders and beds.

Some six years ago, Charles Valin, who heads up our plant breeding team, spotted some plants in a batch of double Shirley poppies that had extra-large flowers. Two generations of selection later, Charles’ team had managed to ‘fix’ a giant-flowered mixture in double picotee bicolours.

Charles comments:

“All the hard work that we’ve put in to create this stunning poppy has been worth it! The flowers are huge and yet they retain their elegance and are in perfect proportion to the overall plant size. We discovered that Poppy ‘Supreme’ has a very robust constitution and blooms for twice as long as traditional poppies. ‘Supreme’ was a real hit with bees in our trials and I think gardeners will love them too!”

Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ is a real bonus for gardeners. Following on from ‘Losetto’, and ‘Mountain Magic’, ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1 is a cross between a very blight-resistant North American line and a French Marmande type. In T&M trials, ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1 resisted late blight infection for three weeks longer than ‘Mountain Magic’. The round, slightly flatter, 150g tomatoes grow in clusters of 3-7 fruits which have a superb taste balance of acidity and sweetness.

Colin Randel, Thompson & Morgan’s vegetable expert, says:

“The high late blight resistance of ‘Oh Happy Day’ means that these outdoor-grown tomatoes will have longer to ripen to their full potential and to provide the superb flavour that only comes with sun-kissed, outdoor-grown tomatoes”.

Poppy ‘Supreme’ and Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ will be available from mid December 2017. Poppy ‘Supreme’ £2.49 for 300 seeds. Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ £2.99 for 8 seeds

Sonia Mermagen

Sonia returned to Thompson & Morgan in the role of marketing copy writer in 2016. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia is a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’. In her own garden, Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach and believes that this encourages bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)

Over 60 new varieties in innovative seed range for 2019

 

Innovative new seed range launches with over 60 new varieties

The New Product Development team at Thompson & Morgan (read more) has been busy. The first item on the newly-formed team’s agenda has been to put together our biggest ever introduction of new seed varieties. Over 60 varieties will be introduced in the company’s 2019 seed range; a significant number are from our own renowned breeding programme headed by Charles Valin, T&M’s resident master plant breeder.

Joseph Cordy, Thompson & Morgan’s head of B2B sales, said:

We are delighted to be able to announce the biggest ever range ‘refresh’ in our retail seed offering; this confirms our commitment to innovation and quality. There are some really exciting new varieties, including several which are completely exclusive to Thompson & Morgan. This is just the start of an extensive programme of innovation in which we are investing heavily and further announcements concerning the range will follow.”

T&M’s head of commercial, Chris Wright commented:

Joseph has been working closely with the horticultural team since joining Thompson & Morgan and this news is a direct result of all the hard work they’ve put in. He is already proving to be a major asset to the company and as he has said, there’s a lot more to come!”

 The 2019 seed range will be available to garden centres and other retailers from July 2018 and to online customers from early September 2018.

 

Sonia Mermagen

Sonia returned to Thompson & Morgan in the role of marketing copy writer in 2016. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia is a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’. In her own garden, Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach and believes that this encourages bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)

Our newly formed New Product Development team boasts over 140 years’ horticultural experience

L to R: Peter Freeman, Paul Masters, Charles Valin, Colin Randel

With 140 years of horticultural experience between them, our newly formed new product development team is able to boast a rich diversity of expert horticultural knowledge.

True to our tradition of providing gardeners with the newest, most interesting and best quality flower and vegetable varieties, our new product development team is pulling out all the stops. The first catalogue since the team’s formation is due out between Christmas and New Year and information on exclusive new products and innovations that are in development will be released over the next few weeks.

Paul Masters, who heads up our horticultural team said:

“I’m really excited about the range that we’re planning for next season. Our plant breeding team, led by Charles Valin, has been working overtime and the new varieties that we’re going to be offering are phenomenal! Some of them are completely revolutionary in the gardening world.”

 Paul brings over 36 years of horticultural and gardening expertise to the team. He started his career as an apprentice at Notcutts, rising to the position of production director and has travelled extensively in Europe and North America in his search for new and interesting plant varieties to offer to UK gardeners.

 

 

 

Colin Randel is widely known in the horticultural business as an authority on vegetables, and in particular, potatoes. Affectionately known as ‘Spud’ here at T&M, his experience of growing vegetables and developing varieties to bring to the gardening public extends to almost 50 years. Colin was Chair of the RHS Wisley vegetable trials subcommittee for 8 years from 2006 to 2013.

 

 

Peter Freeman is the most widely travelled member of the team having visited the Far East and India as well as many European countries looking for new products to enhance our plant and seed range. Over his 38 years’ in the horticultural business, he has worked in nurseries and garden centres, as well as in buying and management. Peter has a particular passion for herbaceous perennials!

 

 

The impressive line-up of our horticultural team is soon to be further boosted by the return of Kris Collins to the T&M fold. Kris takes up his new role as quality control manager on the horticultural team in mid-December and brings with him a veritable mine of knowledge and experience gained from his almost 20 years in professional horticulture.

 

 

Our latest catalogue, the Spring 2018 edition, will be out just after Christmas.

 

Sonia Mermagen

Sonia returned to Thompson & Morgan in the role of marketing copy writer in 2016. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia is a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’. In her own garden, Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach and believes that this encourages bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)

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