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.


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’.

Thompson & Morgan donates flower seeds to local charities

We’ve just donated 100s of packets of flower seeds to local charities, ActivLives and St Elizabeth Hospice. The seeds were left over from a promotion that we ran in conjunction with Garden Answers and Garden News, two magazines published by Bauer Media, who were more than happy for the surplus packets to be donated to Suffolk charities.


More Awards for T&M’s Sunflower SunBelievable™ ‘Brown Eyed Girl’

More Awards for T&M's SunBelievable™ 'Brown Eyed Girl

Following its success at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, our fantastic in-house-bred sunflower, SunBelievable™ ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ has won even more awards and accolades. Proving hugely popular in the US, the new sunflower was awarded the Retailers’ Choice Award at the FARWEST Show in Portland, Oregon, as well as the 2018 American Horticultural Retailers’ Choice Award at Cultivate Ohio. In the UK, at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) National Plant Show, SunBelievable™ took gold in the annuals category, as well as the Best in Category (Annuals) and the Visitor Voted Best in Category (Annuals). The long-flowering sunflower also won the 2018 Four Oaks Trade Show ‘Best Plant Introduction Bedding or Pot Plant’.

Our Head of Horticulture, Paul Masters, commented:

“We’re very proud to have won so many prestigious awards for SunBelievable™ ’Brown Eyed Girl’ both in the UK and abroad. To have gained international recognition for our fabulous sunflower is a great success for Thompson & Morgan.”

With online and catalogue sales topping 100,000 plants in the UK, SunBelievable™ is also proving to be incredibly popular in the USA where it has been well received at all the top trade shows and in trials prior to its retail release in 2019.

“Customer feedback for SunBelievable™’Brown Eyed Girl’ has been extremely positive” says Peter Freeman, our New Product Development Manager. “We’ve been amazed at the plants’ performance this summer – particularly through the heatwave and drought conditions. Those that were planted in the first half of the summer are still flowering now!”

At our Floral Fantasia garden at RHS Garden Hyde Hall this summer, at which hundreds of varieties of annuals were on display, SunBelievable™ ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ proved to be the favourite of the majority of the almost 140,000 visitors to the gardens.

Paul Masters also commented that there would be further exciting introductions to come in the SunBelievable™ range. Watch this space!

Sunbelievable™ 'Brown Eyed Girl'

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