Best In Class – Another Award for Chelsea Garden

Best In Category Award

Thompson & Morgan is incredibly proud to have won another award for its Behind the Genes garden. Designed and created in partnership with Sparsholt College Hampshire, the garden was also awarded a gold medal this morning.

Chris Bird, Sparsholt College’s senior lecturer in horticulture received the Best in Class award this morning from Sir Nicholas Bacon, the President of the Royal Horticultural Society.

The award is for the garden in the Discovery area of the Great Pavilion which received the highest point score – 15 out of a possible maximum of 16.

Thompson & Morgan’s Lance Russell, himself an alumni of Sparsholt College said:

“I’m just so thrilled that the garden has been so well received by the RHS judges. All our hard work has paid off!”

Find out more about our Journey to Chelsea including the full list of plants displayed in the garden.

Gold Medal for Behind the Genes Chelsea Garden

Thompson & Morgan and Sparsholt College Hampshire have just announced a gold medal win at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Sparsholt College and Thompson & Morgan teams

Their joint creation, the Behind the Genes garden, was this morning awarded a gold medal in the Discovery area of the Great Pavilion.

Yesterday, Thompson & Morgan’s Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’ took third place in the prestigious Plant of the Year competition.

Peter Freeman, T&M’s new product development manager said:

“We’re completely over the moon! To have been so highly recognised by the RHS is a huge achievement”.

Sparsholt College’s Chris Bird, senior lecturer in horticulture, commented:

“It’s such an honour to have won gold in the Great Pavilion. The students who have worked tirelessly on this garden over the months are totally deserving of this award. I’m thrilled to say that this is the ninth gold that we’ve won for the college”.

Find out more about our Journey to Chelsea including the full list of plants displayed in the garden.

Thompson & Morgan Takes Third With Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’

Agapanthus Fireworks

We’re so pleased to announce that its Plant of the Year entry Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’ has been placed third today at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It was one of six plants that we heard this morning were on the final shortlist of 20 entrants.

Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’ is a world first in pendulous bicolour agapanthus. Developed by Quinton Bean and Andrew de Wet of De Wet plant breeders, not only does ‘Fireworks’ offer better colour, it has bigger blooms and more stems per plant than previous bicolour cultivars.

This striking agapanthus flowers for longer too – most agapanthus are finished in August, but ‘Fireworks’ carries on flowering through September, giving gardeners 3 months of colour!

The large umbels carry generous clusters of upright white buds that open into fluted flowers which show off clearly-defined rich blue bases and white flaring petal tips. Plants are tougher than other evergreen varieties – staying in green leaf through winter in temperatures down to -10℃.

Peter Freeman, our new product development manager commented:

“We’re over the moon to have our Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’ placed in the top three of this year’s Plant of the Year. It’s a really great plant! We think gardeners will love its contemporary elegance and the fact that it can be used in so many ways in the garden. It grows to about 90cm so it looks really dramatic planted in drifts in the border, and just as good in patio container displays.”

All the plants that we entered into the Plant of the Year competition are featured on the Behind the Genes garden that was created in partnership with Sparsholt College in Hampshire. The garden, which is in the Discovery area of the Great Pavilion (Stand GPA154), offers a visually inspiring insight into the processes of plant breeding and explains techniques used to bring about improvements in plant species.

Also on the garden are our winning plants from last year’s Plant of the Year – Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ which was placed first in 2018, and Sunflower SunBelievable Brown Eyed Girl’, which took third place.

Six Thompson & Morgan Entries Make Shortlist for RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year

We’re thrilled to announce that the shortlist announced on Sunday afternoon for RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s Plant of the Year, includes six of our entrants. This beats last year’s tally of five plants, two of which went on to be placed first and third places in this hugely prestigious horticultural competition.

The shortlist of 20 plants will now be considered by a panel of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges and the top three winning plants will be announced later today.

The six plants on the shortlist of twenty are:

Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’ – Previously unseen colour combination of orange and pink. The pink-purple centre spreads outwards on the fade-resistant petals as the season progresses.
Nepeta ‘Neptune’ – Abundant flowers ‘rebloom’ on a compact, bushy habit; firm foliage is perfect for making tea.
Clematis ‘Kokonoe’ – Uniquely changing flower shape; flowers open as single blooms and develop into flamboyant doubles.

Osteospermum 'Purple Sun', Nepeta 'Neptune' and Clematis 'Kokonoe'

Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’, Nepeta ‘Neptune’ and Clematis ‘Kokonoe’

Ajuga ‘Princess Nadia’ – Brings together the best evergreen, variegated foliage and flower spikes of the genus. Year-round interest.
Chlorophytum ‘Starlight’ – Hardy Spider Plant with the architectural appeal of an ornamental grass and the flowering performance of a bedding plant. Attractive variegated foliage and pretty white flowers.
Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’ – The best bicolour agapanthus, offering bigger blooms, better colour and more stems per plant than previous bicolour cultivars.

Ajuga 'Princess Nadia', Chlorophytum 'Starlight' and Agapanthus 'Fireworks'

Ajuga ‘Princess Nadia’, Chlorophytum ‘Starlight’ and Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’

Our new product development manager, Peter Freeman said:

“We couldn’t be more pleased to hear the news that six of our plants are on the shortlist. To have placed six out of the twenty on the list is an amazing feat. We thought we’d done well last year to have five on the list, so to improve on that is incredible! Everyone at Thompson & Morgan is keeping everything crossed while we await the judges’ decision later on today.”

For updates and images from the Great Pavilion on the first day of the Chelsea Flower Show, please follow Thompson & Morgan on Twitter and Instagram.

All of Thompson & Morgan’s plant entries are featured on the Behind the Genes garden which has been devised and built in partnership with Sparsholt College in Hampshire. The garden, in the Discovery area of the Great Pavilion (Stand GPA154), offers a visually inspiring insight into the processes of plant breeding and explains techniques used to bring about improvements in plant species. To read more about our journey to Chelsea, click here.

Thompson & Morgan Announces RHS Chelsea Flower Show Entries

Following our success at RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year, we are proud to present our entries for Plant of the Year 2019.

Clematis 'Kokonoe', Nepeta 'Neptune' and Ajuga 'Princess Nadia'

Clematis ‘Kokonoe’, Nepeta ‘Neptune’ and Ajuga ‘Princess Nadia’

Clematis ‘Kokonoe’ – Uniquely changing flower shape; flowers open as single blooms and develop into flamboyant doubles.
Nepeta ‘Neptune’ – Abundant flowers ‘re-bloom’ on a compact, bushy habit; the firm foliage is perfect for making tea.
Ajuga ‘Princess Nadia’ – Brings together the best evergreen, variegated foliage and flower spikes of the genus. Year-round interest.

Agapanthus 'Fireworks', Buddleja 'Butterfly Towers' and Osteospermum 'Purple Sun'

Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’, Buddleja ‘Butterfly Towers’ and Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’

Agapanthus ‘Fireworks’ – The best bicolour agapanthus, offering bigger blooms, better colour and more stems per plant than previous bicolour cultivars.
Buddleja ‘Butterfly Towers’ – Grows up, rather than out, so it suits even the smallest garden without taking over. Thrives in containers; long-lasting; makes a great flowering hedge.
Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’ – Previously unseen colour combination of orange and pink. The pink-purple centre spreads outwards as the season progresses.

Chlorophytum 'Starlight' and Clematis 'Little Lemons'

Chlorophytum ‘Starlight’ and Clematis ‘Little Lemons’

Chlorophytum ‘Starlight’ – Hardy Spider Plant with the architectural appeal of an ornamental grass and the flowering performance of a bedding plant. Attractive variegated foliage and pretty white flowers. Fabulous in patio pots.
Clematis ‘Little Lemons’ – Very unusual long-flowering, dwarf clematis. Excellent in pots and hanging baskets.

We’re also pleased to formally announce our partnership with Sparsholt College Hampshire on their Behind the Genes garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show next month.

The garden, which is in the Discovery area of the Great Pavilion (Stand GPA154), offers a visually inspiring insight into the processes of plant breeding and explains techniques used to bring about improvements in plant species. Students at Sparsholt College have been involved in the design of the garden and have nurtured the plants that will be featured on the garden to illustrate various key milestones in plant breeding over the years.

T&M has long been at the forefront of plant breeding and can put its name to a number of key breeding breakthroughs over the years, such as Foxglove or Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’ which won RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year in 2012 and which will feature on the Behind the Genes garden. Also appearing at RHS Chelsea 2019 is last year’s Plant of the Year winner, Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’, and the amazing sunflower, Helianthus SunBelievable™ ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ which was placed third.

Part of the focus this year is also on our trainee manager, Lance Russell, who as an alumni of Sparsholt College, and now working at the forefront of the gardening industry, is the epitome of the new generation of inspiring and social media-savvy young gardeners. Lance is fronting our recent increase in film content on our website and YouTube channel and is set for a stellar career in horticulture. Lance can be seen in Thompson & Morgan’s video ‘Journey to Chelsea’.

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