New Lily ‘Romance’ guaranteed to perform perfectly in patio pots

Trial and competition results prove new oriental lily will grow to perfection in any part of the UK – and maybe even Norway!

Lily Romance

Staff competition winner 2015

Here at Thompson & Morgan, we insist on full product testing before making new plants available to our customers. Much of this quality testing is carried out through technical field trials, but we also like to call on staff, customers and members of the press from all corners of the UK to get a better understanding of a product’s suitability to British gardens.

Ahead of launching Lily ‘Romance’ in the Thompson & Morgan 2016 Spring Catalogue, Horticultural Director Paul Hansord set staff and members of the press the challenge of producing the best patio pot of this new dwarf oriental lily.

From dry East Anglia and the wet Welsh Valleys in the west, up to the most northerly point of the UK – one thing is clear; Lily ‘Romance’ is a top performer no matter the local weather conditions.

“Every staff entry was a winner – in the end we had to award more prizes than intended”, said Paul. “Gardening in East Anglia poses a challenge when rainfall can be few and far between. Add drying easterly winds plus the extra challenges of container growing, and it proves this new compact lily will be a stand out hit for our customers in 2016.”

Terry Walton, gardening columnist and radio presenter, won the Thompson & Morgan media challenge with plants raised in his South Wales garden, less than 10 miles from The Vale of Glamorgan, listed by the Daily Telegraph as the third wettest place in Britain with an annual rainfall of 155cm (just over five feet!).

The lilies received a further accolade this summer when cut stems were used in the winning floral entry to the Unst Show, an annual flower and produce event held on the UK’s most northerly Isle.

Lily Romance

Writer and photographer Helen Harrison donated the stems to her neighbour for use in the competition. She said: “The latitude at which the lilies have grown is further north than St Petersburg, roughly on a par with Bergen in Norway and Stockholm, Sweden.  Unst is actually closer Bergen than Aberdeen!
“During the summer months, there is little darkness and during winter there is a much longer twilight around sunrise and sunset. No part of Shetland is more than a couple of miles from the sea and the salt laden winds are usually major inhibitors to plant growth, but not so with these lilies. They produced lovely flowers and won 1st prize in the show.”

The impressive results have left Paul and the T&M team confident they have the best performing patio lily on the market. Some oriental lilies are too tall for patio pots, needing stakes and supports. The Lily ‘Romance’ Collection will be available in the Thompson & Morgan 2016 Spring Catalogue at £12.99 for six 13/14cm mixed colour bulbs or £19.99 for 12.


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