Thompson & Morgan Gardening Blog

Our gardening blog covers a wide variety of topics, including fruit, vegetable and tree stories. Read some of the top gardening stories right here.

Propagation, planting out and cultivation posts from writers that know their subjects well.

T&M Nominees Shortlisted For RHS Chelsea Flower Show

T&M Nominees Shortlisted For RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Plant of the Year’ Award 2021!

T&M is delighted to announce that four of their flower introductions have been shortlisted for the illustrious RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Plant of the Year’ Award 2021.

This much sought-after award recognises innovation, appeal, excellence and impact in plant breeding, so we are proud to have so many plants shortlist this year. The finalists and winners will be announced on 20th September and we wish the best of luck to our fellow shortlisted companies.


Camellia ‘1001 Summer Nights’ Jasmine

A world exclusive, summer-flowering Camellia!

World exclusive Camellia ‘1001 Summer Nights’ Jasmine opens the door to the never seen before, putting on a spectacular summer show to provide a midsummer day’s dream garden! Its ruffled, rosette blooms are borne continually from May to October.

Camellia ‘1001 Summer Nights’ Jasmine

A breath-taking breakthrough in Camellia breeding!

This introduction is a ground-breaking new summer flowering variety from T&M that leaves traditional spring-flowering Camellias far behind!

This handsome evergreen was bred in China by Mr. Gao Jiyin, who has worked with camellia for over 50 years, with his colleagues Mr. Zhao Qiangmin and Mr. Liu Xinkai.

An interspecific cross between Camellia azalea and Camellia reticulata, ‘1001 Summer Nights’ Jasmine takes the very best from both parents – a long flowering period, glossy dark leaves from C. Azalea and the large showy blooms of C. reticulata

Meets the demands of modern gardeners

Camellia ‘1001 Summer Nights’ Jasmine is neat and compact, making it ideal for planting in patio containers. Thriving in sun or part-shade, it makes a useful shrub for providing year-round interest and colour in the garden.

Peter Freeman, Thompson & Morgan’s Product Development Manager, said:
‘I was really taken aback by this breakthrough; plants were covered in flower right through the summer!’

Available as:
1 x 10.5cm potted camellia plant (KB6245)
2 x 10.5cm potted camellia plants (KB6246)
1 x 1.6 litre potted camellia plant (KB6247)
2 x 1.6 litre potted camellia plants (KB6248)


Fig (Ficus) ‘Little Miss Figgy’

The hardy Fig for gardens of every size!

This compact, hardy introduction allows anyone to grow their own figs in the smallest of spaces. Little skill or experience is needed to produce a bumper crop from ‘Little Miss Figgy’ every autumn – in warmer years, gardeners will benefit from a second crop in the spring too.

Fig (Ficus) ‘Little Miss Figgy’

What’s in a name? Everything!

Ficus ‘Little Miss Figgy’ is a very compact, dwarf Fig that grows to a maximum height and spread of about 90cm – perfect for gardens or a patio pot. It boasts deeply lobed, dark green foliage and short internodes, and produces lots of large, sweet, burgundy-coloured fruits along the branches. ‘Little Miss Figgy’ is drought tolerant and likes a place in full sun but also tolerates semi-shade.

Available as:
1 x 9cm potted fig plant (KB2925)
2 x 9cm potted fig plants (KB5859)


Sedum ‘Sunsparkler Dream Dazzler’

A dream come true!

Sedum ‘Sunsparkler® Dream Dazzler’ is a beautiful and easy plant to grow, which is disease resistant. Its colours will dazzle you and are different depending on their spot: in the sun the foliage is dark purple with bright pink edges, in the semi-shade the foliage is light purple with bright pink edges and in the shade the foliage is blue-green with white and pink edges. ‘Dream Dazzler’ also forms pretty bright-pink blooms in summer, attracting a lot of bees.

Sedum ‘Sunsparkler Dream Dazzler’

‘Sunsparkler® Dream Dazzler’ prefers a sunny spot in your plot, where this compact plant will delight you with its fabulous foliage that does not fall open. Ideal grown as groundcover, as mass planting, in the rock garden or in a perennial border.

Available as:
1 jumbo plug plant (KB8623)
3 jumbo plug plants (KB8624)
1 x 2 litre potted sedum plant (KC4548)
3 x 2 litre potted sedum plants (KC4551)


Sweet Pea ‘Three Times as Sweet’

A modern edge to a timeless garden favourite

Straight from T&M’s own breeding by Charles Valin, Sweet Pea ‘Three Times As Sweet’ is the first cultivated, Modern Grandiflora tri-colour Stripe variety available.

Bred from Lathyrus odoratus x Lathyrus belinensis cross and thus Lathyrus x hammettii hybrid, the unique marbled blooms blend lavender-blue, burgundy and white, further enhanced by a strong picotee edge. This creates a truly eye-catching display in a vibrant colour combination and strong fragrance not seen in the genus before.

Deliciously fragrant

Offering plenty of the distinctive fragrance that only Sweet Peas can deliver, ‘Three Times as Sweet’ is perfect for cutting for sweetly scented posies. Grow this climbing annual against a trellis or over an obelisk for a sensational summer display. With regular cutting, gardeners can expect 3 months of easy summer colour.

Available as:
3 sweet pea premium multisown plugs (15 plants) (KB7701)
6 sweet pea premium multisown plugs (30 plants) (KB7702)


All varieties featured above are available to buy online at https://www.thompson-morgan.com/virtual-chelsea-2021

Sue’s (very unscientific) potato trials 

Potato 'Adessa' from Thompson & Morgan

Discover the best growing method for producing high potato yields
Image: Potato ‘Adessa’ from Thompson & Morgan

Our very own horticultural expert, Sue Sanderson, recently set up a series of informal potato trials to see which growing method produced the best yield. Using seed potatoes, Sue experimented with different sized tubers, found out what happened when she cut some in half, and compared the modern ‘lasagne method’ with traditional ‘earthing up’. While not conducted under strict scientific conditions, Sue’s trials produced some clear winners. Here’s how our resident expert recommends growing potatoes…

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Raspberry masterclass: best expert content

Image: Raspberry ‘Polka’ from T&M

Grow raspberries in beds or containers
Image: Raspberry ‘Polka’ from Thompson & Morgan

If you want to grow your own raspberry plants, take a look through this selection of the best independent articles and videos from the internet. These garden bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers show you how to enjoy huge raspberry harvests from your summer and autumn fruiting canes. With advice on planting, pruning, and tips about different varieties to try, here’s everything you need to know about growing raspberries. 

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How to grow Hyacinth bulbs in water

Hyacinth 'Berries and Cream Mixture' from T&M

Hyacinths such as ‘Berries and Cream Mixture‘ can be grown in water to enjoy throughout the depths of winter
Copyright: Dutch Gardens

Growing hyacinths in water gives you the chance to enjoy vibrant and beautifully scented spring bulbs in the depths of winter. In fact, with a little bit of planning, you’ll have a windowsill full of colourful bulbs just in time for Christmas. Here’s how to grow hyacinth bulbs in water at home.

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When to plant daffodil bulbs for the best blooms

Narcissus 'Peach Cobbler' from T&M

These daffodils look good in containers or as cut flowers
Image: Narcissus ‘Peach Cobbler’ from Thompson & Morgan

For the best spring blooms, plant your daffodil bulbs in autumn. That way they have plenty of time to settle in and grow strong root systems to support healthy foliage and brilliant, vibrant displays. Here we take a look at how to plant daffodils for maximum wow factor, and present some of our favourite varieties to try.

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How to Help Houseplants Acclimatise to Your New Home

We are well aware of the stress that comes with moving home. Well, plants are just like people in this regard. They acclimate to their environment, and even the subtlest shifts in temperature and light can upset their balance. It will take some time before they finally adapt to their new digs. Even more importantly – it will take a little extra love and care on your part. Let us have a look at how you can help houseplants acclimate to your new home.

Moving house plants to your new home

©Shutterstock

Keep things similar to what they’re used to

Your houseplants will be going through a process of acclimatization to their novel environment. This period can be very stressful for them, especially during the winter months. However, keeping things as similar as possible to what they were used to in your former abode may ease their transition to your new home. But precisely what do we mean by that? No two homes are identical, that’s true. But you’ll want to do your best to pay attention to draughty windows and heaters, observe general light and humidity levels, etc. For instance, you’d probably kept your cacti and succulents on a bright, sunny spot in your old home. So, find south or west-facing windows in your new home and place them there.

plants on a sunny windowsill

©Shutterstock

Inspect for damage

As to the moving damage, it’s next to impossible to keep everything pristine. You may be looking at an odd snapped leaf or two, plant wilting, off-colour foliage, leaf drop, and some of your hanging plants may need untangling. In any event, you should start examining your greens closely to determine the extent of the damage.

Salvage any injured plants

Plants are incredibly fragile, as you may know. For this reason, moving them to a new home requires some forethought and some know-how. To help houseplants acclimatize to your new home, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure they don’t need a lot of salvaging to begin with. Make sure to properly prepare your plants before the move, and be careful during the process itself. However, if things are looking a bit droopy and unkempt when you arrive at your new home, there are things you can do to perk up a stress-damaged plant.

By nipping off any broken or dead leaves and stem ends, you will make sure that there’s room for new parts to grow. If stems or branches aren’t broken but only a bit damaged, grab a string or a piece of soft fabric. Next, stake the damaged area and tie it. Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee this will work. If not, you’ll want to prune the broken branch.

A few days after unwrapping your houseplants, you’ll see them slowly starting to adjust. Now it’s time to shift your attention to their watering needs. If any of your babies seem dry from the move, try filling your bathtub with a few centimetres of water. Next, let the pots have a little soak for about thirty minutes, give or take.

Watering house plants

©Shutterstock

Check over your plants

Now that you’re done with the basics, you’ll want to keep tabs on them and see if you notice any changes. Do not think about giving any of your plants a re-pot immediately after the move. Adding another source of stress is by no means a way to help houseplants acclimate to your new home. They will be ready in a month or two. If it’s in the middle of the winter, however, it is best to hold off that decision until springtime. Right now, love, care, and some time to acclimatize are all they need.

Brassicas and winter veg masterclass: best expert content

Kale 'Midnight Sun' from T&M
With excellent frost hardiness, this is a fantastic plant to grow when fresh garden produce is scarce!
Image: Kale ‘Midnight Sun’ from Thompson & Morgan

Do you want ideas for second crops to extend your vegetable growing season beyond summer? Or perhaps you want to know what vegetables to plant this autumn and overwinter for the spring? 

We’ve sourced some of the best independent content from the internet to help you sow your own brassica and leafy green seeds. These experienced garden bloggers share expert advice on growing broccoli, kale, chicory, kalettes and more. But if you’ve missed the boat for seeds, brassica plug plants are a great option too. Here’s everything you need to know to successfully grow wonderful winter veg. 

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10 awesome allotment blogs

Check out these awesome allotmenteers
Image: shutterstock

There’s an allotment revival going on at the moment. And it’s no wonder. Growing your own helps you eat better and cheaper, get fit, and spend quality time outdoors with friends and family.

If you fancy grabbing a piece of the ‘good life’ for yourself, then have a nose through these awesome allotment blogs. With practical how-tos, delicious homegrown recipes and inspirational pictures, they’ll make an allotmenteer of you yet.

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Advice for the new allotment holder

Allotment with full beds and plenty of veg to harvest

Make your new allotment a success
Image: T.W. van Urk/Shutterstock

If you’re a new allotment plot holder, you may be feeling completely daunted by the large slab of ground you’ve just taken charge of. Where do you start? What should you do first? 

Here are 8 helpful tips from some of the internet’s best allotment growers…

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Give new perennial bedding plants a try

Foxglove ‘Mixed’ from T&M

Plant foxgloves in the summer border
Image: Foxglove ‘Mixed’ from Thompson & Morgan

For a fresh take on traditional bedding plant displays, try these tall perennials at the back of your beds and borders. Pollinator friendly, long-lasting and easy to care for once established, these great value plants will provide effortless colour, structure and interest all summer long.

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