Raspberry surprise – a little bit of help in the garden

Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’® is a dwarf variety that is claimed to grow to just 120cm (36”) – the perfect size for a patio pot, or a sunny place in even the smallest veggie plot. I’ve decided to put this to the test and see just how well they get on when planted in the ground vs. containers. This weekend I spent a few minutes planting my raspberries with some help from my Deputy Gardener. She’s quite new to all this but was keen to get involved!

We chose a large ceramic container and filled it with John Innes No.3. This is a loam based compost that makes a good choice when planting mature shrubs in containers. It has more ‘body’ to it than peat based multi-purpose composts, offering better drainage and stability. It also contains higher levels of nutrients, making it well suited to plants that will be growing in the same container over a long period. I also mixed in a few handfuls of slow release granular fertiliser to help the plant establish and keep it well fed into next spring.

raspberry ruby beauty

The other plant was destined for the vegetable plot. I found a nice sunny, sheltered position, sandwiched between some older raspberry canes and the strawberry patch. There were quite a few weeds but my helpful assistant soon sorted that out (she’s closer to the ground than I am!!).


The soil is quite light and fertile in this part of the garden – just perfect for raspberry growing. In fact, the other raspberries have gone mad, sending up suckers all over the place! I shouldn’t complain as we have had a really good crop this year, and there are still more fruits to pick. Hopefully, Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’® will be just as productive next summer.

Sue Sanderson

Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman’s nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online. I have a keen interest in drought resistant plants and a passion for perennials, particularly hardy Geraniums. I’m a regional secretary for the International Plant Propagation Society which gives me lots of opportunities to see what other horticulturalists are up to in their nurseries and gardens.

Thompson & Morgan trials team member wins gold!

Jean Willis' Container Garden

Jean Willis’ Container Garden

Jean Willis, a dedicated and valued member of Thompson & Morgan’s trials team, recently won Gold Award First in the Best Container Garden category of Bournemouth in Bloom 2012.

It all started in 2006, when the Bournemouth in Bloom committee was judging gardens in Jean’s road and knocked on her door to ask why she hadn’t entered the competition! At that time, Jean didn’t even know that the competition existed, but the committee entered her garden there and then… and she won Best Container Garden and was highly commended in the Best Hanging Basket category. Jean has won awards in the competition every year since, culminating in this year’s fantastic achievement.

Jean Willis - Gold Award First for Best Container Garden, Bournemouth in Bloom 2012

Jean Willis wins Gold Award First for Best Container Garden, Bournemouth in Bloom 2012

Jean started trialling plants for Thompson & Morgan in 2008 and said “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience – and still do.” She first started gardening on her father’s allotment in Norfolk, when she was about 10 years old. Even though it was mainly used for growing veg, the flowers really caught her attention and her favourite plants now include fuchsias, clematis and roses. Jean said ‘As far as I can remember I have always loved gardening, although when the children were small I didn’t have a lot of time, but am probably making up for it now.”

Congratulations on your achievements  – long may they continue!

Rebecca Tute

Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

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