Plot to plate recipes for National Vegetarian Week

assorted raw vegetables on a wooden board

Celebrate National Vegetarian Week with delicious recipes from gardening bloggers around the UK
Image: monticello

At Thompson & Morgan, we’re passionate about growing our own food. But sowing, growing and nurturing delicious produce is only half of the story. Harvesting, preparing and eating these vitamin-packed wonder foods is just as important, right?

This year, 13 – 19 May is National Vegetarian Week. To celebrate, we asked our favourite green fingered bloggers to share their best vegetarian plot-to-plate recipes. Here are some of their ideas and delicious serving suggestions to help you make the most of your fresh fruit and veg.

 

Main courses

 

Richard’s tomato and coconut curry

tomato and veg curry from Richard at veggrowerpodcast

Packed with antioxidants, fresh tomatoes make a healthy and flavour-packed curry
Image: theveggrowerpodcast

Richard, from The Veg Grower Podcast, loves a good curry, and this is one of his favourites. A great way of using a tower of homegrown tomatoes, it’s so tasty that people don’t miss the meat!

Ingredients:

  • A splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped.
  • A thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and chopped.
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped.
  • 1 chilli chopped. (I used a scotch bonnet from my greenhouse which is fairly hot. However use any chilli that you would like)
  • 1 tin of coconut milk.
  • 1 vegetable stock cube.
  • 1kg of tomatoes.
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder.

Method:

  • Gently sweat the chopped onion in the olive oil.
  • After a minute or so, add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Gently stir for a couple of minutes until softened.
  • Add the coconut milk and crumble in the stock cube. Stir to blend.
  • Add the tomatoes and curry powder.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Serve with cooked rice.

Richard’s top tip: “I’ve also served this curry with cauliflower rice. Simply take a cauliflower and blitz it up in a blender. Boil the cauliflower ‘rice’ for a few minutes, drain and serve.”

Jane’s fried halloumi with lentils and sweet chilli

Jane’s fried halloumi with lentils and sweet chilli

This tasty recipe is a firm favourite with Jane’s friends and family
Image: Onions and Paper

Jane, who blogs about food and craft at Onions and Paper may not even know that her famous fried halloumi recipe is being featured here, as it was sent to us by her lovely husband Mark! Let’s call it a team effort though, as Marks Veg Plot provides the homegrown produce for Jane’s gourmet prowess!

Ingredients:

  • 100g small green or brown lentils (e.g Puy lentils)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 150g Halloumi cheese, cut into 4 slices
  • Generous dash of chilli oil
  • 2 x tbsp Sweet Chilli sauce
  • 2 x tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil

Method:

  • Cook the lentils, onion and carrot in plain, unsalted water until tender.
  • Drain the lentils, and while still warm, add the chilli oil, and season to taste.
  • Meanwhile, fry the sliced halloumi in the sunflower oil, turning at least once, until nicely soft, brown and bubbly. (This only takes about 5 minutes.)
  • Arrange the lentils on plates and top with the halloumi.
  • Drizzle the sweet chilli sauce over the cheese.
  • Serve with a nice salad – we had a Tabbouleh made with herbs from the garden (mostly mint and parsley), and a (deliberately!) burnt shallot and tomato salad with watercress.

Jane’s top tip: “Don’t use commercial stock to cook your lentils. It often contains a lot of salt and this prevents the lentils softening.”

Belinda’s smoked ‘salmon’ carrot lox

For an impressive amuse bouche or a simple brunch, this is a carrot, but not as you know it!
Image: Plot 7 Marsh Lane

As Belinda of Plot 7 Marsh Lane blog hasn’t eaten meat for about 30 years, she can’t be sure if this tastes more like smoked salmon or bacon, but it’s a tasty and unusual way to transform a humble carrot! She first came across this recipe back in 2017 via Shaheen’s Allotment2Kitchen blog.

Ingredients:

  • 360g sea salt
  • 3 large washed carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar

Method:

  • Line a 1lb loaf tin with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Tip half of the sea salt into the loaf tin, lay the carrots on top and sprinkle with the remaining salt.
  • Cover the loaf tin with foil and place in the oven for about an hour.
  • Remove, and allow the carrots to cool on a chopping board.
  • When cool enough to handle, brush away any excess salt, using it to help peel off any loose skin.
  • Finely slice the carrots into long, thin strips using a mandolin, and transfer to a glass container with a lid.
  • In a small bowl, make the marinade by whisking together the oil, liquid smoke and vinegar.
  • Pour over the carrots, pop on the lid, and leave in the fridge for 2-3 days for the flavours to develop.
  • Serve on warm bagels with vegetarian cream cheese.

Belinda’s top tip: “I’d probably add a little more smoke to the marinade and use a little less salt next time.”

Claire’s summer pasta sauce

Claire’s summer pasta sauce

This simple summer sauce is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds
Image: Daria Vinek

According to Claire over at Sowing at the Stoop, this delicious pasta sauce is a firm family favourite that uses up any gluts of precious produce whilst completely capturing the taste of summer. What’s more – it’s super simple too!

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Courgettes
  • Aubergines
  • Garlic
  • Fresh basil

Method:

  • Roughly chop all of the veg and pop it into a roasting tin with some chopped garlic. Spray with a little oil and add a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
  • Put the tray into the oven at 180°C and roast for 30 minutes.
  • When cooked, use a hand blender to blitz the roasted veg and add some freshly picked basil.
  • Add to cooked pasta. We love it with penne.

Claire’s top tip: “This is ideal on a meat-free night but it also tastes great over oven roasted cod. It freezes really well too, so even after summer is long gone, you can still get that fresh flavour of home grown veg!”

Hazel’s crowd-pleasing cauliflower cheese

stock image of cauliflower cheese with two wooden spoons

This is comfort food at its best!
Image: AS Food studio

Mother of four, Hazel from The Newhouse Family blog, knows how to cook up a tasty storm to please a large family. This green-living bunch don’t like to waste a thing, so the tip for adding homemade breadcrumbs is about more than just texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 4 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 500 mls of milk
  • 100g cheddar cheese (you can add more if you like a really cheesy sauce!)

Method:

  • Take your cauliflower and break it up into pieces. You’ll want a nice mix of large chunks and some smaller pieces.
  • Boil the cauliflower for 5-10 minutes until cooked, but still firm. Drain and leave to one side.
  • Grate the cheese into a bowl.
  • To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, stirring continuously. Sprinkle in the flour and mix into the melted butter to form a paste.
  • Slowly add the milk, stirring rapidly continuously with a whisk.
  • Add ¾ of the grated cheese to the sauce, whilst stirring quickly with the whisk to eliminate any lumps.
  • Tip the cauliflower into a large dish. Pour over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
  • Place into a hot oven for around 20 minutes, until the cauliflower cheese is bubbling and the grated cheese on top has browned a little.

Hazel’s top tip: “We like to use homegrown cauliflowers as they have the best flavour. When you sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top, just before popping the dish in the oven, try adding breadcrumbs and a little salt and pepper as well.”

Kev’s beetroot tart

image from An English Homestead of chopped beetroot

A clever way to show off a variety of unusual homegrown beets
Image: An English Homestead

Is there a better match for gloriously sweet beets than salty white feta? Kev from An English Homestead says his beetroot tart is even more impressive when made with a variety of different coloured beetroots that you’ve obviously grown yourself!

Ingredients:

  • Various fresh beets
  • Puff pastry (ready made is fine!)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Feta cheese

Method:

  • Boil the beets in a pan of salted water until they just start to soften.
  • Remove from the water, roughly slice and lay in a roasting dish.
  • Drizzle the beets with a little olive oil, a good slug of balsamic vinegar, and some sea salt.
  • Lay a sheet of puff pastry over the top and pop in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden and puffed up.
  • Remove from the oven, place a large platter or chopping board on the roasting dish and turn it over, so that the tart is removed and the right way up.
  • Crumble good quality feta over the top and bring to the table while still warm.

Kev’s top tip: “The tart is also nice cold, so perfect for a lunch box the next day if you have any left over!”

 

Sides and small plates

 

Michelle’s zingy tzatziki

Michelle's tzatziki recipe from Veg Plotting

Fresh and light, this is a real taste of the Mediterranean
Image: Veg Plotting

Low fat doesn’t necessarily mean boring, as Michelle over at Veg Plotting found when she came up with this delicious way to use up her glut of cucumbers. Her recipe makes a cool and refreshing lunch for one, or a perfect side dish for two alongside a main meal or BBQ.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small cucumber, diced (include the seeds if desired)
  • 4-5 large teaspoons of Skyr Icelandic yogurt
  • Black pepper
  • Za’atar to taste (an Arabic spice blend combining toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried marjoram, and sumac)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 wholemeal pitta bread, toasted

Method:

  • Place the cucumber in a small bowl, add some freshly ground black pepper, and a generous sprinkling of za’atar.
  • Add the Skyr and mix well.
  • Garnish with the thyme leaves and serve with the freshly toasted pitta.

Michelle’s top tip: “If you’re growing outdoor cucumbers like me, don’t forget to rub off the outside bristly bits first.”

Adam’s potato pancakes

Adam’s potato pancakes from Carrot Top Allotments

Homegrown potatoes take this recipe to a whole new level
Image: Carrot Tops Allotment

Hash browns, rosti, platzki: call these what you will, says Adam of Carrot Tops Allotment. His grated potato cake recipe originates from Poland and is super easy to make. Cold, wet, tired? This is comfort food personified.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Grate the potatoes and onion into a bowl and season to taste.
  2. Remove some of the excess water by pressing the potato mixture into a sieve.
  3. Return to the bowl and add the beaten egg, stirring well.
  4. Set a frying pan over a medium heat and add a generous amount of oil. It needs to be hot enough to sizzle when you start to fry your potato.
  5. Drop a tablespoon of the potato mixture into the pan, flattening it down so it cooks evenly. If your pan is large enough, you should be able to fry 3 or 4 platzki at once.
  6. Cook each side of the platzki for about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Place the platzki onto a piece of kitchen roll before serving, to soak up any excess oil.

Adam’s top tip: “Delicious served with sour cream, or (vegetarian) goulash!”

Alexandra’s corn on the cob ‘cookout’

stock image of corn grilling on a BBQ

Roast fresh corn on the bbq and you’ll never want to eat it any other way again!
Image: Anan Chincho

Freshly picked home grown produce often needs very little messing with to deliver a powerful flavour punch. Just to prove it, this BBQ ‘cheat’ from Alexandra over at The Middle Sized Garden is pure genius in its simplicity. With a smear of butter and a sprinkle of salt, it doesn’t get much better than this for a taste of summer!

Ingredients:

  • Freshly picked corn on the cob, one per person
  • Butter and salt

Method:

  • Pick your sweetcorn, leaving the leaves intact (don’t peel anything off)
  • Place the cobs straight onto a warm bbq, simply as they are.
  • Roast on the bbq for around 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Alexandra’s top tip: “When ready, peel the leaves back (but don’t cut them off) to use as a ‘handle’ to hold the cob.”

Katie’s wild garlic and cheese scones

Wild garlic and cheese scones from Lavender and Leeks

Serve warm with butter or alongside a big bowl of vegetable soup for a hearty supper
Image: Lavender and Leeks

Katie from Lavender and Leeks is a little bit in love with garlic, and when she discovered a hoard of this lovely ingredient growing wild, she couldn’t resist experimenting to make one of her other favourite things of all time – scones!

Ingredients:

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 25g strong cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100ml milk
  • Small handful of wild garlic, chopped

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
  • Chop the cold butter into small cubes and rub into the flour.
  • Add the grated cheese and wild garlic.
  • Beat the egg and milk together before gradually adding almost all of the liquid to the dry mixture, kneading gently until you have a soft dough. Keep a little of the milk mixture for use later.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 2 cm thick. Use a round 2 inch cutter to stamp out 10 scones.
  • Place them on a greased tin and use the remaining milk and egg mixture to brush over the tops. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the scones turn a golden colour.

Kate’s top tip: “They aren’t the type of scone you have with jam and cream but they are very delicious served fresh and hot from the oven with a spread of butter. This recipe makes 10. Be warned though… you might want to double the ingredients!”

Caro’s broad bean and mint hummus

broad bean and mint hummus from Urban Veg Patch

The ultimate snack to enjoy with a sundowner at the end of a long day in the garden
Image: The Urban Veg Patch

Caro from The Urban Veg Patch loves her snacks so much, she grows extra broad beans just for this recipe! As she says, who wouldn’t want to loaf around with a glass of wine/beer/gin (not in the same glass or even sitting) on a balmy evening, with this tasty homemade hummus and some flatbreads…?

Ingredients:

  • 400g un-podded broad beans
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (more to taste)
  • Juice of half a small lemon
  • 2 stems of mint, leaves only
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Pod the beans and boil lightly in salted water for about 8 minutes. Small beans will take less time.
  • Drain the beans and remove the skins.
  • Blitz in a blender with the lemon juice, olive oil and mint leaves until you have a smooth paste.
  • Add more oil if needed and season to taste.

Caro’s top tip: “Use good quality olive oil. It really does make a difference.”

 

Something sweet

 

Kate’s cucumber ice cream

cucumber ice-cream from Diary of a Country Girl

We can’t think of a better dessert on a hot summer day
Image: Diary of a Country Girl

Last year Kate from Diary of a Country Girl had a mountain of homegrown cucumbers on her hands – so she decided to try and make cucumber ice cream. Apparently, back in the day, it was really rather fashionable! This gloriously refreshing and crisp dessert is what she came up with.

Ingredients:

  • 160g diced cucumber
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 60g runny honey
  • 240ml double cream
  • 240ml whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Method:

  • Peel, de-seed, and finely chop the cucumbers. Purée them in a blender with the lemon juice until very smooth.
  • Beat the eggs, sugar and honey until foamy and light with an electric mixer. Stir in the puréed cucumber, cream, milk and vanilla.
  • Strain through a sieve before whisking in the nutmeg.
  • Freeze in ice-cream maker.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into an air-tight container, freeze for an hour, then mix in a food processor. Freeze for a further two hours and mix again. Repeat the process after another two hours and return to the freezer until ready to eat.

Kate’s top tip: “I now make cucumber ice cream all throughout the year, but it’s always miles better with homegrown cucumbers!”

Lucy’s easy apple tart

stock image of glazed apple tart

Assemble the apples in a rustic or beautifully arranged pattern, depending on time available
Image: hlphoto

If you’re looking for a recipe with minimum prep and maximum flavour, Lucy from The Smallest Smallholding is a fan of letting good quality ingredients speak for themselves. What better way to celebrate a bag full of fat, autumnal apples than this super simple tart?

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 large Bramley apples, peeled & cored
  • Ready-made rolled puff pastry
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling
  • Apricot jam for glazing

Method:

  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/375F
  • Line a tart tin or flan dish with baking parchment.
  • Using the upside down tin as a rough guide, cut a large disc of puff pastry to size, leaving an extra 2cm or so for the crust.
  • Press into the tin, moulding gently to the sides. It doesn’t have to be too neat!
  • Thinly slice the apple and create a spiral pattern on the pastry. Start at the outside edge and working in, overlapping each slice.
  • Sprinkle demerara sugar over the top and pop the tin onto the middle shelf of the oven.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is a light golden brown. Make sure it has baked thoroughly in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and glaze with apricot jam.

Lucy’s top tip: “Want to make this vegan? Simply buy ready made rolled vegan puff pastry. The serve it with vegan ice cream or Alpro custard. You can also make bite-sized tartlets using a greased, shallow muffin tray.”

Tanya’s honey and almond baklava

Honey and almond baklava from Lovely Greens

A sweet treat for those who grow their own honey
Image: Lovely Greens

Tanya over at Lovely Greens grows her own fruit and veg, but she also makes her own honey, hence her appreciation for this middle-eastern inspired treat. If you have a sweet tooth like Tanya, you have to try these sweet and crunchy morsels of deliciousness, oozing with rich honey and marzipan-like filling. For the full step by step instructions, make sure to head to Lovely Greens.

Ingredients:

Honey syrup

  • 1½ cups honey
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 whole cloves

Filling

  • 2 cups chopped almonds
  • 2 cups chopped mixed nuts of your choice – peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of caster sugar
  • 1 cup of melted butter

Pastry

  • Filo pastry – you need 24 sheets the same size as your dish. For my 12×9” dish, I used a single 250g pack.
  • ½ cup of melted butter

Tanya’s top tip: “I used my own raw honey for the syrup and highly recommend you source local honey too – the flavour will knock your socks off! Make baklava the day before you serve it to allow the syrup to really soak into the dish.”

We hope our bloggers have inspired you to try new and exciting ways to serve up your home grown fruit and veg. Tell us which of the recipes is your favourite? We’d love to hear your comments and see photos of your own creations over on Facebook and Instagram.

How to grow Heuchera

multicoloured heuchera plant - Heuchera 'Patchwork' Mix available from Thompson & Morgan

Cultivate heuchera to spice up the darker corners of your garden
Featured Image: Heuchera ‘Patchwork’ Mix from Thompson & Morgan

If you’re looking for a wonderful shade plant to add colour and interest to the darker corners of your garden, look no further than heuchera. This hardy native of North America can withstand the cold, offers a wide range of colourful foliage all year round, and wispy flowers on long stems in the spring. Also known as coral bells or alumroot, this evergreen perennial is a must, and as an autumn bedding plant, is hard to beat. Here’s how to grow and care for it.

About heuchera

collection of brightly coloured heuchera plants

Heuchera comes in a variety of colours – ideal for any planting colour scheme.
Image: Buquet Christophe

Heuchera grows in a wide variety of habitats in its native North America, from the salty shores of California to arid Arizona and New Mexico. It likes shade and semi-shade best, but some varieties will grow in full sun. It’s not particularly fussy about soil type either, although it doesn’t like to get too wet or too dry..

Growing from a crown at ground level, the foliage is this plant’s main attraction. Think purples, red, and burnt umbers at one end of the spectrum, and limes, yellows, and greens at the other, with every kind of variegation you could possibly wish for.

Firm favourites

green and grey variety of heuchera - Heuchera 'Stormy Seas' available from Thompson & Morgan

Try the moodier palette of Heuchera ‘Stormy Seas’ for a subtle flash of colour.
Featured Image: Thompson & Morgan

Heuchera ‘Berry Smoothie’ is a real treat. With its pink leaves and claret veins, it offers a vibrant splash of colour which only deepens as the foliage darkens through late summer and into autumn and winter. Come the spring, you’ll find this plant’s creamy white flowers a delight and a true contrast against the bright leaves.

Fancy something to suit with a verdant palette? Take a look at this Heuchera/ Tiarella hybrid, ‘Solar Power’. With its evergreen yellow lime foliage mottled with dark red markings, it’s a great way to liven up a shady border.

For more subtle coverage of difficult spots, give Heuchera ‘Stormy Seas’ a try. This hardy perennial features maroon and green leaves with silver variegation and creamy white flowers which bloom on tall spikes during the summer.

Where to plant heuchera

mixed perennial border with hostas, heuchera and day lily

Heuchera normally prefer shade, but some varieties can cope with higher levels of sunlight.
Image: Maria Evseyeva

Heuchera is a shade-loving plant, but with so many varieties to choose from, there is considerable variation in terms of how much sunlight different specimens can cope with. As a rule of thumb, the colour of the leaves gives you a good clue as to where to site your plant; darker leaves are better at withstanding the sun’s rays.

A great plant for those who garden in coastal areas where salt-laden winds are an issue, the only thing heuchera really doesn’t like is heavy, wet ground which causes the crown to rot, or very sandy soils which can quickly dry out. Improve your soil by adding plenty of organic matter, choose well-drained soil, and water regularly but sparingly.

When to plant heuchera

Closeup of man in green welly boots digging hole in the ground ready for planting

Dig a hole that’s twice the size of the root ball for planting.
Image: Shutterstock

You can plant heuchera any time the soil’s not waterlogged or frozen, but for best results, put yours in the ground during the spring or early autumn to allow it to establish without risk of frost damage. Dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball and add a handful of organic matter or blood, fish, and bone to give your plant a good start.

Remove your heuchera from its pot and gently massage the roots to separate them before planting and covering until the soil reaches the same level as it did in the pot. Avoid covering the crown itself or there’s a chance it will rot.

How to prune heuchera

closeup shot of leggy heuchera getting pruned by gardening secateurs

Prune your heuchera to keep it from getting leggy
Image: GardenTags

After a couple of years your heuchera may start to become rather clumped and leggy. When you part the leaves, you’ll discover woody stems that lead back to the crown of the plant. To prune, cut the stems back to a just above buds of fresh growth at the top of the crown.

To propagate your cuttings, snip away any dead wood until you come to the sappy part of the stem before planting in potting compost; general purpose compost with added grit and a slow release fertiliser will also work. Roots will develop in three to four weeks.

Heuchera rust

image of dark red heuchera plants in a border

Ensure you don’t introduce infected Heuchera plants into your garden.
Image: AliScha

Although it’s a tough plant, in recent years, the fungal disease, Puccinia heuchera, otherwise known as heuchera rust has become widespread in the UK. It’s a particular problem during wet summers and appears mainly as sunken spots on the top of leaves with orange rust coloured pustules on the underside.

If you’re buying new plants to supplement other, uninfected, heuchera in your garden, it’s a good idea to quarantine the new plants for three to four weeks to be sure they are unaffected. Check your plants regularly for signs of the disease, removing any affected material and destroy rather than compost it.

Because heuchera rust likes damp conditions, pay close attention to soil drainage, plant your heuchera where there’s plenty of air circulation, and water early in the morning so the leaf surfaces have a chance to dry during the day.

You can’t beat heuchera for glorious foliage which provides both vibrant colour and structure to your autumn planting scheme.

For further flower growing advice, check out our collection ‘How to’ gardening guides.

Top 10 best-selling plants of 2018

white hydrangea flowers on green foliage. Hydrangea 'Runaway Bride' available to buy from Thompson & Morgan

This pretty hydrangea won the nation’s hearts and Chelsea’s Plant of the Year 2018
Image: Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ by Thompson & Morgan

Are you looking for some garden inspiration? Or just curious about which plants were gardeners’ favourites last year? Here are our ten best-selling plants of 2018. The majority are flowers – including two of our own prize-winning hybrids – but there are a couple of fruits in there too – can you guess which they are?

 

Hydrangea 'Runaway Bride' by Thompson & Morgan

This captivating hydrangea won Chelsea Flower Show plant of the year 2018

Hydrangea Runaway Bride®

Awarded the prestigious title of Plant of the Year for 2018 at Chelsea Flower Show, our Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ is one of the most floriferous and vigorous hydrangeas you’ve ever seen. It’s the only hydrangea to produce flowers from every leaf joint – producing up to 6 large, beautiful blooms per branch and a spectacular showy display. We’re so proud of this beautiful hydrangea with its pure white lace-cap flowers, flushed with pale pink. It makes an elegant border shrub and is equally stunning in hanging baskets and containers. The Runaway Bride® has stolen many hearts this year, has it stolen yours?

Click here for more details

Sunflower 'Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl' by Thompson & Morgan - Available to buy now

‘Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl’ took third prize in Chelsea Flower Show’s Plant of the Year 2018

 

Sunflower SunBelievable™ Brown Eyed Girl

Our ‘Sunbelievable™ Brown Eyed Girl’ sunflower won third place in Chelsea’s Plant of the Year 2018 category. This stunning new hybrid sunflower doesn’t waste time setting seed but puts all its energy into flowering. This pretty sunflower is perfect for pots and borders. It produces masses of beautiful, dainty blooms all the way through to November. Our head breeder Charles says: “I’ve crossed the very best with the very best to really boost its flower power.”

Click here for more details.

Tree Lily 'Pretty Woman Red' from Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

‘Pretty Woman Red’ brings huge pink blooms and sweet fragrance to your garden

Tree Lily Pretty Woman

Tree lilies create a striking display in the garden. These impressive plants are giants of the flower world, their stunning blooms towering at up to 8ft (2.4m) tall by their third year. Sturdy and prolific, each tree lily plant produces around 30 trumpet-shaped flowers. But with a relatively narrow spread (45cm or 18”), they fit nicely into even narrow borders. The Pretty Woman Tree Lily comes in red, yellow and white varieties, all of which offer a deliciously sweet fragrance.

Click here for more details

 

Clematis florida 'Taiga' by Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

This spiky clematis might be a real show off but it’s very easy to look after

Clematis Taiga

When clematis ’Taiga’ was launched at Chelsea Flower Show in 2017, it caused quite a stir. Its hand-sized blooms with multi-layered purple petals tipped with lime/cream unfurl into stunning spikey rosettes. This Japanese-bred cultivar loves to climb, producing countless blooms through the summer. But don’t let its show-off credentials fool you – clematis ‘Taiga’ may look exotic but it’s completely hardy, easy to prune and undemanding.

Click here for more details

Fuchsia 'Giant Flowered Collection' by Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

Our giant fuchsia collection makes a stunning display of hanging baskets

Fuchsia Giant-Flowered Collection

With masses of pretty pendant flowers that bloom all summer long, fuchsias are a firm favourite for beds, borders and hanging baskets. Our giant-flowered collection features the ‘Deep Purple’, ‘Swingtime’, ‘Seventh Heaven’, ‘Holly’s Beauty’ and ‘Peachy’ varieties. The huge blooms measure up to 10cm (4”) across and combine purples, reds and pinks in frosted, marbled and striped petals. This collection of fuchsias produces a beautiful show of colour from June to September.

Click here for more details.

 

Begonia Apricot Shades Improved F1 Hybrid from Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

These easy-to-care-for begonias produce gorgeous apricot blooms all summer long

Begonia Apricot Shades Improved F1 Hybrid

Begonias are easy to care for and produce continuous colour throughout the summer and well into autumn. This Begonia ‘Apricot Shades Improved’ variety produces gorgeous apricot and orange large double blooms that will cascade from your containers and hanging baskets, bringing colour and impact to your garden. And for the culinarily adventurous among you, their brightly coloured petals bring a lemony hint and crisp texture to salads and sandwiches.

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Strawberry 'Just Add Cream' by Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

This decorative strawberry plant produces pretty pink flowers and sweet fruit

Strawberry Just Add CreamTM

These decorative strawberries look beautiful tumbling from a hanging basket, with masses of pretty pink flowers and delicate fruit. But they don’t just look great, they also taste delicious – combining the sweetness of home-grown strawberries with the distinctive flavour of wild woodland varieties. Just Add Cream™ strawberries have an intense flavour and aroma that will take you right back to childhood and your first memory of tasting this fruit. These generous plants fruit early and will keep on cropping from early May through to the first frosts.

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Begonia Non-Stop Mixed by Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

These cheerful begonias will flower non-stop throughout the summer

Begonia Non-Stop Mixed

If you’re looking for a riot of colour throughout the summer months and well into autumn, look no further than non-stop mixed begonias. These compact, vigorous double flowers grow to up to 7cm across and come in a glorious range of shades. Deadhead them throughout the growing season and they’ll continue to flower into October. Non-stop begonias are perfect for containers, beds and borders and their blooms are long lasting and weather resistant.

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Busy Lizzie 'Divine Mixed' (New Guinea) by Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

These pretty, robust plants quickly spread to fill containers and borders

Busy Lizzie Divine Mixed

Busy Lizzie ‘Divine’ is every gardener’s friend. Flowering endlessly from June to November in a beautiful bright colour mix, these flowers are self cleaning and require virtually no deadheading. What’s more, they’re robust and downy-mildew resistant. Spreading willingly, these busy lizzies quickly fill up pots and baskets and cover beds and borders. And giant blossoms, in a range of vivid colours, contrast pleasingly with their attractive bronze-green foliage.

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Tomato 'Sweet Aperitif' by Thompson & Morgan - available to buy now

Tomato ‘Sweet Aperitif’ will produce up to 500 sweet, red fruits!

Tomato Sweet Aperitif

The ‘Sweet Aperitif’ tomato produces up to 500 red-skinned, bite-sized fruits – that’s about 6kg (300lb)! These cherry tomatoes might be the sweetest you’ll ever eat, but their flavour delicately balances a high sugar content with a pleasingly refreshing tang. This is a cordon variety of tomato, which grows up to 200cm (79”) in a greenhouse or sheltered, sunny spot in the garden.

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From the delicate and understated to the showy and opulent, there’s something for everyone in our 2018’s top-selling plants list. We hope you’ve found one or two (or ten) that you’d like to add to your own garden.

Autumn Pumpkin Festival

Twins reclaim throne as Pumpkin Kings with 2,252lb record breaker

Ian and Stuart Paton UK record holders with Paul Hansord, Thompson & Morgan

Ian and Stuart Paton UK record holders with Paul Hansord, Thompson & Morgan

Hampshire brothers smash the British record and set their sights on the world record in 2017

Ian and Stuart Paton have broken the British record for a giant pumpkin for an incredible 7th time at the annual Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton. The event draws pumpkin growers from across the UK, all hoping to take home the prize for the UK’s largest pumpkin. This year, the Paton’s gargantuan gourd measured more than 19ft in circumference and during its peak period of growth, it piled on a staggering 57lb each day for 2 weeks. To match its rate of growth, the vigilant horticultural siblings, who run Pine Tops Nursery in Hants, lovingly supplied over 100 gallons of water a day, plus a nutrient-rich fertiliser. As the all-important weigh-in date approached, Ian and Stuart were spending 5 hours a day nurturing the 3 giant pumpkins that they entered into the competition. The final weight of the winning entry is just 71lb off the world record.

The new UK heaviest pumpkin record holder

The new UK heaviest pumpkin record holder

 

Each time a record is broken at the annual Jubilee Sailing Trust Autumn Pumpkin Festival, show sponsor – seed and plant mail order specialist Thompson & Morgan – takes the winning specimen back to its Ipswich HQ. The seeds are harvested, tested for viability and prepared for sale, so for any budding giant pumpkin growers inspired by this weekend’s jumbo entries, Thompson & Morgan sell the seeds under the aptly named variety, Pumpkin ‘Paton Twins Giant’. It’s a popular line with amateur growers at just £9.99 for two huge seeds with the genetics to become a record breaker with the right care. It’s the seed of choice for serious competitors too – the majority of entries to this year’s official weigh-in at the Southampton pumpkin event were grown from seeds supplied by the Patons.
The brothers will be using seeds from this year’s crop next year – which they say will bear the best seeds in the country thanks to careful hand pollination of their plants to cross two of their best ever performing plants. And with the world record now held closer to home (Swiss gardener, Ben Meier, took the title in 2014 with a 2,323lb monster) they say they are even more set on achieving the accolade themselves.

Stuart said: “We’ve always been confident of winning the world title eventually, and our new greenhouse has made a big difference with its better soil and light levels, an improved watering system and a larger growing area with a more consistent temperature. We’re well prepared to take on not only the Swiss, but the Americans too.”

T&M Horticultural Director, Paul Hansord said: “It used to be said that the world record would never leave the US, but if the Swiss can do it, so can we. Our seed quality just keeps getting better, thanks to the Patons’ selective pollination, and UK growers are upping the game every year. I’ve every confidence the Paton boys can bring the world title to UK shores in the near future.”

Having just handed over the £1,000 prize cheque and with a promise to pay £10,000 for a British world beater, he could be regretting that confidence in coming years!

To order your own ‘Paton Twins Giant’ Seed and grow a giant yourself next year, visit www.thompson-morgan.com/giant-pumpkin

For further information, images and reader offers/competitions on Paton Twin Giant seeds, please email Julie Rush jrush@thompson-morgan.com or call 01473 695227

T & M now recognised as Google Certified Shop

Thompson & Morgan, which offers one of the UK’s widest ranges of garden seeds, plants, gardening equipment and outdoor living furniture, was recently selected to join the Google Certified Shops program. To help shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience, the Google Certified Shops badge is awarded to ecommerce sites that demonstrate a track record of on time shipping and excellent customer service.

When visiting the Thompson & Morgan website (www.thompson-morgan.com), shoppers will see a Google Certified Shops badge and can click on it for more information.

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Taking your order & checking your plants

Marketing Services Manager, Clare Dixey said ‘independent reviews from our customers are extremely important both to us and to reassure our online customers. We are delighted to have won this accolade from Google which measures for the very best in customer services, online experience, reliable delivery and product quality’.

As an added benefit, when a shopper makes a purchase at Google Certified Shops, they have the option to select free purchase protection from Google. Then in the unlikely event of an issue with their purchase, they can request Google’s help, and Google will work with Thompson & Morgan and the customer to address the issue. As part of this, Google offers up to £1,000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases.

Google Certified Shops is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. The program helps online stores like Thompson & Morgan attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites.

Supplying gardeners since 1855, Thompson & Morgan has a longstanding reputation for its extensive range and seeds and young plants. Following two years of growth and product expansion, the mail order specialist now has everything a gardener could possibly need to get their outdoor space exactly as they want it, all with the convenience of delivery direct to the door. Alongside its award-winning range of flower and vegetable seeds, young plants, fruit trees, bushes and bulbs, customers can now add everything from plant labels, propagators, fertilisers and composts to hand tools, power tools, mowers, sheds and greenhouses, along with a comprehensive range of over 1,200 mature perennials, trees and shrubs.

For more information about Thompson & Morgan, reader offers or image requests please contact Julie Rush on  01473 695227 or email jrush@thompson-morgan.com

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