Another Plant of the Year award for T&M?

Chelsea Flower Show entries – another Plant of the Year award for Thompson & Morgan?

After last year’s exciting win at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the spectacular foxglove ‘Illumination Pink’, Thompson & Morgan announces its contenders for this year’s Plant of the Year award.

Another Plant of the Year award for T&M?

Poppy ‘Plum Pudding’

Poppy ‘Plum Pudding’
This is a new variety from the Thompson & Morgan breeding programme. ‘Plum Pudding’ rights the ‘wrongs’ of well-known ‘Patty’s Plum’: it’s a similar fabulous colour, but it is stronger stemmed, longer flowering – often re-blooming – and its colour doesn’t fade. What’s more, it’s grown from seed, so gardeners will get double the plants they would have had with ‘Patty’s Plum’ for the same amount of money!

The story: Over 5 years Thompson & Morgan selected on the best and most floriferous plants from some poppy seedlings; ones with strong stems, the longest-lasting flowers and those that offered repeat autumn flowering. The result is ‘Plum Pudding’. Every large stunning bloom has a strong ‘blotch’ and is slow to fade in colour. The big blowsy flowers also attract bees to the garden.

Another Plant of the Year award for T&M?

Nasturtium ‘Fruit Salad’

Nasturtium ‘Fruit Salad’
Very different to annual nasturtiums – much more compact and ‘better behaved’ in the garden – this is the first bicolour nasturtium with serrated petals. Bred to be sterile, plants will bloom for a much longer time than any other nasturtium and the spectacular bicolour blooms are uniquely perfumed with a lovely ‘daffodil-like’ fragrance.

The story: In 2001, a customer sent Thompson & Morgan an unusual nasturtium with serrated petals rather than the traditional round ones. T&M’s plant breeders crossed this original plant and created a variety with serrated petals on a cream and red bicolour with striking dark foliage. The flower’s fragrance was an unexpected bonus. The compact habit of ‘Fruit Salad’ makes it ideal for hanging baskets and climbing frames whilst the edible flowers are perfect for spicing up summer salads.

Rebecca Tute
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

Sweet Pea tops the Best Seller list

New seed varieties proving popular with T&M customers.

Thompson & Morgan is pleased to announce the top 3 best-sellers from its list of newly-launched seed varieties.

Bestselling Sweet Pea 'Erewhon'

Bestselling Sweet Pea ‘Erewhon’

Sweet Pea ‘Erewhon’ along with Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’ and Lobelia ‘Monsoon’ are currently topping Thompson & Morgan’s new seed variety ‘charts’. “We’re never surprised to see sweet pea varieties in our best-seller list”, says Michael Perry, T&M’s New Product Development Manager. “We know our customers love sweet peas, so we’re always on the look-out for unusual and exciting new varieties”.

‘Erewhon’ can certainly boast these characteristics, flying as it does in the face of convention with its unique and spectacular ‘reverse’ bi-colouring. Lobelia ‘Monsoon’ is another one-of-a-kind variety which not only produces beautiful deep blue flowers which cascade from baskets and window boxes, but offers the added bonus of attractive foliage which turns from green to bronze as the plants mature, giving them long-lasting appeal.

Lobelia 'Monsoon'

Lobelia ‘Monsoon’

Thompson & Morgan’s Flower of the Year, Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’ also features in the top 3 best-seller list.

“I knew from the first time I saw ‘Crimson Emperor’ that our customers would love it and we were thrilled that Thomas Hoblyn chose to feature it in his award-winning garden at RHS Chelsea this year”.

Nasturtium 'Crimson Emperor' - Flower of the Year 2013

Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’ – Flower of the Year 2013

Thompson & Morgan attributes the success of this beautiful nasturtium to its stunningly vibrant colouring as well as its lax, spreading habit which makes it ideal for planting as ground cover in borders, or allowed to tumble over walls and fences. It’s equally at home in containers or hanging baskets, making it a very versatile option for gardens next summer.

Rebecca Tute
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

Chance find becomes Thompson & Morgan’s Flower of the Year for 2013

Nasturtium 'Crimson Emperor' - Flower of the Year 2013

Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’ – Flower of the Year 2013

“It’s amazing what you can find lying around in the nooks and crannies of the seed store!” Alan Sparks of Takii Seed.

A lucky discovery in a back room has been exhibited at RHS Chelsea this year and is Thompson & Morgan’s ‘Flower of the Year’. Stunning Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’ featured in the RHS Chelsea Show garden of acclaimed landscape and garden designer, Thomas Hoblyn, who won a Silver Gilt Medal and the People’s Choice award for his Chelsea garden this year.

Even before ‘Crimson Emperor’ had made its debut at RHS Chelsea, Thompson & Morgan had chosen this extraordinary nasturtium for its Flower of the Year. Its amazing colour and unusual habit are what make it so special. The consistent rich crimson colour that gives this variety its name is rarely seen, whilst the plant’s habit is less trailing and more lax and bushy, making spectacular spreading ground cover.

Nasturtium 'Crimson Emperor' - perfect for ground cover

Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’ – perfect for ground cover

The story behind the development of ‘Crimson Emperor’’ is an interesting one. In about 2003, Alan Sparks, of seed breeders Takii, found an old box of seed selections in a back room. The box belonged to the late Kees Sahin, renowned Dutch seed breeder and plantsman. The selections had been taken from so-called ‘rogues’ from the production fields of a previous nasturtium variety, ‘Scarlet Emperor’. They had been ‘selfcrossed’ in the greenhouse and subsequently forgotten. Alan sowed the seeds and grew 4 or 5 much darker red plants which he then used to carry on with his selection.

He says, “It took a few years for them to regain their vigour and climbing habit, but it was clear from the beginning that the colour was much darker red than the standard varieties.”

Click here to buy Nasturtium ‘Crimson Emperor’

Nasturtium facts

Rebecca Tute
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

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