Poppy ‘Supreme’                                                                                                    Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1

We’re thrilled to be releasing two new seed varieties in the next few weeks. One, Poppy ‘Supreme’, is yet another innovative new flower from our own breeding programme. The other, Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ will most certainly be welcomed by gardeners who struggle to grow tomatoes outside due to the ever-present danger of blight.

Poppy ‘Supreme’ lives up to its name. Its fully double flowers are three times larger than those of other similar papaver rhoeas varieties and boast exquisite crinkly petals with picotee edges in pink, cherry and orange tones with white centres. Growing to a final garden height of 75 cm, Poppy ‘Supreme’ is long-flowering and multi-branching, making it ideal for direct sowing in borders and beds.

Some six years ago, Charles Valin, who heads up our plant breeding team, spotted some plants in a batch of double Shirley poppies that had extra-large flowers. Two generations of selection later, Charles’ team had managed to ‘fix’ a giant-flowered mixture in double picotee bicolours.

Charles comments:

“All the hard work that we’ve put in to create this stunning poppy has been worth it! The flowers are huge and yet they retain their elegance and are in perfect proportion to the overall plant size. We discovered that Poppy ‘Supreme’ has a very robust constitution and blooms for twice as long as traditional poppies. ‘Supreme’ was a real hit with bees in our trials and I think gardeners will love them too!”

Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ is a real bonus for gardeners. Following on from ‘Losetto’, and ‘Mountain Magic’, ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1 is a cross between a very blight-resistant North American line and a French Marmande type. In T&M trials, ‘Oh Happy Day’ F1 resisted late blight infection for three weeks longer than ‘Mountain Magic’. The round, slightly flatter, 150g tomatoes grow in clusters of 3-7 fruits which have a superb taste balance of acidity and sweetness.

Colin Randel, Thompson & Morgan’s vegetable expert, says:

“The high late blight resistance of ‘Oh Happy Day’ means that these outdoor-grown tomatoes will have longer to ripen to their full potential and to provide the superb flavour that only comes with sun-kissed, outdoor-grown tomatoes”.

Poppy ‘Supreme’ and Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ will be available from mid December 2017. Poppy ‘Supreme’ £2.49 for 300 seeds. Tomato ‘Oh Happy Day’ £2.99 for 8 seeds

Sonia Mermagen

Sonia returned to Thompson & Morgan in the role of marketing copy writer in 2016. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia is a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’. In her own garden, Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach and believes that this encourages bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)

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