Four New Flowers Shortlisted

For Plant Of The Year 2022 at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022

We are delighted to announce that all four of our new flower plant nominees for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2022 award have been shortlisted for judging at the event:

Azalea ‘Starstyle Pink’
Salvia ‘A Little Bit’
Weigela ‘Magic Carpet’
Geranium ‘Intense’

Azalea 'Starstyle Pink' and Salvia 'A Little Bit'

Weigela 'Magic Carpet' and Geranium 'Intense'

Our new introductions for 2022 include show-stopping, high-performing and breeding breakthrough varieties to inspire you!

This much sought-after award recognises innovation, appeal, excellence and impact in plant breeding, so we are proud to have all of our nominees shortlisted this year. The finalists and winners will be announced on 23rd May and we wish the best of luck to our fellow shortlisted companies.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Award 2022

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year award celebrates the new and exciting plants launched at the show. The prestige of winning is recognised worldwide and the show is the ideal global platform for the launch of new plants, which often go on to be bestsellers.

The judges will be looking for the winning criteria which will need to include all three of the following features:

Innovation
The plant must be genuinely new and offer significant benefits within those features. This will outweigh a new colour on an existing plant for example.

Appeal
Will the plant stand the test of time? It will need to sustain its popularity to secure a place with those of true significance.

Excellence and impact
Judges (and gardeners) will be looking for the “wow” factor.

The judging panel is comprised of industry experts with a wealth of knowledge and passion who come together, volunteering their time, to make the incredibly tough decision on the winning plant.


Our Shortlisted Plant of the Year Varieties

Azalea ‘Starstyle Pink’

Yes, this really is an Azalea!

This distinctive little Azalea is delightfully different, fun and exciting, making it ideal for modern gardens.

The result of 23 years of breeding, Azalea ‘Starstyle Pink’ is a unique new variety with compact growth, profuse unusual flowers twice a year, plus highly decorative lush evergreen foliage. Height and spread: 50cm.

Azalea 'Starstyle Pink'

Available as:
1 x 10.5cm potted azalea plant (KC8105)
1 x 3 litre potted azalea plant (KC8109)


Weigela ‘Magic Carpet’

Weigela ‘Magic Carpet’ is the outstanding outcome of a 10-year breeding programme to produce compact plants with vivid foliage, plus an abundance of flowers. It will delight you with its pretty pink flowers and fabulous colour changing foliage. Height: 60cm. Spread: 46cm.

Weigela Magic Carpet

Available as:
1 x 9cm potted weigela plant (KC0879)
2 x 9cm potted weigela plants (KC7820)


Geranium ‘Intense’

New Geranium ‘Intense’ is a neon pink sensation!

Intense by name, intense by nature, its non-fading, vivid pink blooms and extreme flower power will astound you!

This compact hardy perennial has the flower power to stand alongside annual summer bedding, while offering much more versatility and a longer season of interest. Height: 25cm. Spread: 50cm.

Geranium Intense

Available as:
1 x 9cm potted geranium plant (KC7851)
3 x 9cm potted geranium plants (KC7852)


Salvia ‘A Little Bit’

This new Salvia ‘A Little Bit’ is more than just a little bit special!

A seedling selection from a crossing of Salvia nemorosa and Salvia pratensis, the ravishing result is a compact and extremely hardy perennial with big, bold blooms.

These compact, tidy plants boast a long flowering season, a wide range of garden uses and true winter hardiness making Salvia ‘A Little Bit’ the obvious option for gardeners looking to add impact to their planting schemes. Height: 25cm. Spread: 30cm.

Salvia 'A Little Bit'

Available as:
1 x 9cm potted salvia plant (KC8104)


All varieties featured above are available to buy online at https://www.thompson-morgan.com/chelsea-2022

How to Plant up Hanging Baskets

Petunia 'Surfinia' Collection from Thompson & Morgan

Create an amazing display with little effort!
Image: Petunia ‘Surfinia’ Collection from Thompson & Morgan

Hanging baskets are an easy way to add interest, scent and colour without much effort! Simply choose your colour scheme, order some hanging basket plants and follow the three easy steps described below.

Your baskets will quickly fill out to provide a stunning display that frames your front entrance, brightens up bare walls and fences, or brings to life a tired garage or shed. Here’s our quick guide to planting up hanging baskets for maximum effect…

1. Choose the right hanging basket

BloomAround Hanging Basket from Thompson & Morgan

Baskets with side ‘gates’ allow for more plants than traditional top fill types
Image: BloomAround Hanging Basket from Thompson & Morgan

Any type of container can be used as a makeshift hanging basket – we’ve even seen old clothes used as planters! But the quickest and easiest way is to invest in an Easy Fill Hanging Basket. These are long-lasting and easy to use. Thanks to the little gates around the sides, the roots of your plants won’t be damaged when you tuck them in. For more options, see our collection of hanging basket accessories and decide which style works best for you.

2. Choose the best hanging basket plants

Top Class Colour themed collection from Thompson & Morgan

Try a themed colour collection for a stylish display
Image: Top Class Colour themed collection from Thompson & Morgan

For the best results, decide on a colour scheme before choosing a mixture of trailing and upright plants. Some people prefer a single colour theme, while others opt for a striking contrast such as yellow and blue. If you’re not confident when it comes to choosing colours, try one of our themed collections for a tried and tested combination that’s sure to impress.

Geraniums and pelargoniums are a popular choice that come in a variety of colours. Trailing varieties should be planted on the outside of your basket so they can cascade over the edge and provide interest all summer long. Pop an upright geranium in the centre to give your display some height.

Fuchsias also make great basket plants. As with geraniums, use trailing varieties on the outside and then upright varieties in the centre.

If you prefer a mixed display, browse our full selection of hanging basket plants for inspiration – begonias, petunias, lobelia and verbena all make wonderful choices.

When it comes to how many plants to plant in your hanging basket, the more the merrier – pack them in for a full display which will look beautiful cascading and tumbling from the baskets (one little plant won’t have much impact!) As a general guide 5-8 plants should fill a 12″ basket, but if they don’t have a bushy habit, up to 10-12 plants can be used to create a really show stopping display.

If you’re planting up a winter hanging basket, take a look at our annual bedding plants where you’ll find a wide selection of pansies, primulas, primroses and other winter bedding varieties.

3. Look after your hanging basket plants

Osteospermum ‘Falling Stars’ from Thompson & Morgan

These trailing African Daisies make a striking hanging basket display
Image: Osteospermum ‘Falling Stars’ from Thompson & Morgan

Feeding and Watering

The main thing to remember with hanging baskets is that the plant is completely dependent on you for water and nutrition. Plants in the ground can send their roots out to forage for water or nutrients. Those planted in pots and baskets, can’t.

Before planting, add some Incredibloom® to your compost. This will give your plants all the nutrients they need to put on a great display all season long. Tests have shown that this can help your plants produce up to 4 times as many flowers.

Once planted up, make sure your hanging baskets are kept moist – never bone dry and never sitting in puddles. We recommend a good soaking, before leaving them to drain until the soil is just moist. It’s best to water your baskets early in the morning or in the evening to reduce water loss to evaporation.

Shaping hanging basket plants

Once your plants start growing they’ll take on their own shape. If something starts to look a bit straggly, lightly prune to tidy the shape. Some people like wild baskets and some like neat; it’s entirely up to you. Just make sure that you don’t get carried away – too much pruning can also remove some of the flower buds!

To prune hanging basket plants, cut at the stem just above a leaf joint – the plant will heal over at that point. To stop your plants getting taller, nip out the growing tip at a leaf joint. Sometimes we can be a little fearful of cutting and trimming our plants in case we cause any damage, but there’s not much that can go wrong.

How to plant a hanging basket video guide

Take a look at this hanging basket video from Michael Perry, where he shows just how easy it is to start a wonderful display.

Want to plan something more adventurous? You’ll find plenty of planting inspiration along with a wealth of top tips over at our dedicated hanging basket hub page.

The next generation of climbing fuchsias

Fuchsia 'Pink Fizz' from Thompson & Morgan

Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’ produces flowers from top to bottom
Image: Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’ from Thompson & Morgan

Climbing fuchsias combine vigorous vertical growth and exceptional flower power. Forget straggly honeysuckle, clematis, and virginia creeper – climbing fuchsias offer a classier alternative and they’re much easier to prune! Here are some of the best climbing fuchsia plants to try in your garden.

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Trouble shooting your Geranium growing problems

Geranium 'Balcon Mix' from Thompson & Morgan
Healthy geraniums produce excellent, long-lasting flower displays
Image: Geranium ‘Balcon Mix’ from Thompson & Morgan

If you’re looking for answers to your geranium and pelargonium troubleshooting questions, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some timely tips on everything from encouraging more flowers to making your plants more compact. Geraniums are easy to grow, and some of the most common problems are easily solved with a bit of additional care. Here’s how to rejuvenate your geraniums. 

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