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.
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.
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.