Help Mr Fothergill’s fundraise for charity

September 6th, 2017 | News | 0 Comments

At Mr Fothergill’s we like to support as many charities as we can – so far we’ve raised over £150,000. Over the last few years, we’ve supported and fundraised for the Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal, Greenfingers Charity, and RSPB – among others!

For these charities, in particular, we’ve have been selling sweet peas, seeds or fundraising through events. If you’ve contributed to any of these, then thank you – all of these charities need help and we are grateful to have given them the chance to assist their causes further.

We’ve recently completed a 20 mile walk, that some of our team took part in to raise money for the Greenfingers Charity. You can find out more about our walk here. In addition to this walk, we’ve set up a page for each of the charities that we support – so if you’d like to help with our fundraising efforts, you can find each of the pages below.




If you’re going to donate your hard earned money to a charity, it’s important that you know what your generous donations are going towards. Each of these charities supports very different causes and all of them important.

Greenfingers Charity

Greenfingers Charity is dedicated to supporting the children who use hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces for children to enjoy with family, friends and siblings, whether through play and fun, or therapeutic rest and relaxation.  To date, Greenfingers Charity has created 51 inspiring gardens and outdoor spaces in hospices around the country and has a further waiting list of hospices that need our help now.


RSPB are the largest nature conservation charity in the country, consistently delivering successful conservation, forging powerful new partnerships with other organisations and inspiring others to stand up and give nature the home it deserves.

Royal Chelsea Appeal Limited

The Chelsea Pensioners are the iconic faces of the UK’s veteran community. They reside at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, their 325-year-old home founded by Charles II, in the heart of London.

Thank you in advance for all the support you’ve given us and these charities over the years, we hope we can continue to help them through the sale of our seeds and fundraising. 



A rather special coneflower

September 21st, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Echinacea 'Green Twister'

Two superb new seed-raised perennials are introduced this autumn, two of the best that I’ve grown for years, so I thought I’d better tell you about them. This week, a very impressive new coneflower.

Echinacea ‘Green Twister’ is unique amongst seed-raised echinaceas. Firstly, the colouring. As you can see, most of each petal is the usual coneflower purple but the turned up tips are bright green, at times almost luminous. And the flowers are huge, many are 15cm across and held on long stiff stems about 90cm tall.

My seedlings were given to me by the breeder last spring, grown on in 9cm pots and then planted out. Most plants flowered last year, all came happily through the winter and flower production this year has been impressive.

Large flowers on tall stems implies a need for support and, grown in good soil and planted in an open but sheltered place, they would have toppled if the usual canes and string had not been in place.

In the garden and cut for mixed bouquets the flowers always caused comment and, although one or two were a little cautious, most people who saw them loved them. They’re still flowering now.

There’s a similar, but smaller-flowered variety around called ‘Green Envy’ that’s raised by cuttings or division but I’ve found it weaker and variable – and you can buy two or three packets of seed of ‘Green Twister’ for the price of one plant of ‘Green Envy’. You know which one to go for.

My Morning Glory Story

September 14th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Ipomoea (Morning Glory) 'Party Dress'

My ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glories have been a disaster this year. Not a single flower on any of my plants around the garden. It’s my own fault, I was give a packet of seed from, well, another seed company…. How could I have been so foolish?!

I sowed the seed, I nurtured the plants, I love them so much that I planted them in four different places, I soaked them in the ferocity of the heat – and they’ve grown like mad. But not a single flower. Not one.

Of course, when I visited the Mr F trial ground recently my foolishness was revealed – ‘Heavenly Blue’ was doing great. That’ll teach me. I know whose seed to use next year.

But I also noticed another morning glory, a new one, that Mr F are introducing for next season. It’s called ‘Party Dress’, and you can see what a lovely colour it is. I especially like those electric flashes through the trumpets.

This variety is also a little more tolerant of chilly spring weather than ‘Heavenly Blue’, which is always useful, but it really does grow. I have just the place for it: under a big new elder I’m trialling with huge bold chocolate-coloured leaves. It should make a great support and set off the colour of the morning glory perfectly. And I bet you a million pounds it flowers.

Mr Fothergill’s Raises Over £70,000 for Royal Hospital Chelsea from Sales of Poppy Victoria Cross

September 11th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

2018 is the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I (1914-1918), and the Suffolk seedsman continues to support the Royal Hospital Chelsea (RHC). Mr Fothergill’s is delighted to announce that we have raised £73,000 for the charity since the first year of our partnership in 2014.

There are 1,000 stockists of the counter-top display units of fund-raising Poppy Victoria Cross around the UK, including Blue Diamond, Kew Gardens, RHS Gardens, QD stores and many leading garden centres. Mr Fothergill’s pledges 25p to the Royal Hospital’s charity for every packet of seed sold.


Commercial Director, Tim Jeffries, said: “We are proud to be supporting the Royal Hospital Chelsea and pleased to see so many gardeners joining with us to do that. While the centenary of World War I draws to a close in 2018, our close links with the RHC will see us supporting their important work for many years to come.”

Poppy Victoria Cross is a popular choice among gardeners and makes a fitting remembrance symbol with its bold white ‘crosses’ across single red flowers. Easy to grow and quick to flower from a spring sowing, this form of Papaver somniferum is ideal for informal borders and cottage garden settings. Its distinctive ‘pepper-pot’ seedheads are also useful in dried arrangements when flowering ends.

Established in 1682 by Charles II to provide a safe home for military veterans ‘broken by age or war’, the Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital admitted its first pensioners in 1692. The scarlet tunics and black tricorns of its residents and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show held in the Royal Hospital grounds every May are equally well known and respected around the world.


Poppy Victoria Cross seeds are available from garden retailers, and the Mr Fothergill’s Seed Catalogue. RRP £2.10 for 250 seeds.

Daffodils with perfume

September 7th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Narcissus 'Actaea'

Many people love daffodils. A few people hate daffodils. But most of us like some daffodils and not others.

I’m a big fan but there are some daffodils that drive me mad. The ones whose trumpets look as if they’ve been hit by a brick, for example, and also the big blowsy yellow ones, like good old ‘King Alfred’ – when they’re planted in the grass along a country lane. They just look so out of place! In a container, or in a clump on a colourful spring border, ‘King Alfred’ looks great. But please, if you want to plant some daffs by your village name sign, choose a variety that looks a little more natural – best of all, our native British wild daffodil.

The other thing about our wild daffodil is that it has a lovely fragrance and that’s a daffodil feature that we tend to forget. Some are scented, some are not. Wouldn’t you choose a fragrant variety if you could? And for a container, where it’s easier to get your nose close to the blooms, or when you want to cut some for the house, fragrance is a huge bonus.

The strongly scented ‘Actaea’ (above) is one of my favourites in pure white with a tiny yellow trumpet edged in red plus a neat white zone between. ‘Geranium’, with its vivid orange cup, is similar. The dainty, and usefully late flowering ‘Hawera’ in primrose yellow is lovely crowding a terracotta pot as is ‘W. P. Milner’, with its straw coloured flowers that fade to white. And all with that lovely daffodil fragrance.

September is planting time, better get those bulbs ordered.

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Celebrates 40 Years of Success with Ruby Garden at Capel Manor

September 5th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

In the last 40 years Mr Fothergill’s has proved to be a king of innovation, being the first seed company putting seed fill on the packets, adding modern QR codes that link to valuable growing guides and launching Optigrow – ‘the most exciting development for home gardeners since the introduction of F1 hybrids’.


But more than this, we believe gardening is all about fun, enjoying nature and growing your own from seed. We share enthusiasm, expertise and passion with all hobby gardeners. Helping new growers and experienced ones is our priority, as well as being known for our big choice of both traditional and unusual seed varieties, wildflowers and exciting heirloom seeds.

To celebrate this success, we supplied the students at Capel Manor College with seeds and plants in shades of red with the aim of transforming the Mr Fothergill’s garden into a ruby themed dream – creating a stunning summer flower display for our 40th anniversary whilst helping them with their studies. Capel Manor College educates new generations of horticulturists, offering a range of courses for those who are interested in plants, trees and the environment.


Some of the highlights from this display include Amaranthus Velvet Curtains, winner of an RHS Award of Garden Merit for reliability and good performance. A half hardy annual border plant with unusual rich, dark crimson foliage and flower heads that turn to seed and retain their colour for a long season of interest. Also a great cut flower, fresh or dried.

Begonia Starshine Red F1 is an exceptional begonia with an enormous amount of flower power – they really do keep on flowering come rain or shine, for months on end. This half hardy perennial is tough and resilient, perfect for creating cascades of colour in hanging baskets and containers.

Stunning Gailardia Firewheels flowers for most of the summer with single burgundy blooms based on long stems. A magnet for butterflies and other pollinators, making an outstanding addition to borders and wildlife areas with its long-lasting blooms.

Sweet Pea Scarlet Tunic was named in honour of the famous Chelsea Pensioners red coats and is a delightful blend of red shaded blooms. Mr Fothergill’s raised over £70000 for Royal Hospital Chelsea from the sales of Poppy Victoria Cross and Sweet Pea Scarlet Tunic.


Pim Dickson, Horticultural & Technical Content Manager comments: ‘The Ruby Garden was created as a part of our Ruby Anniversary celebration. It’s a beautiful showcase for some of our most popular, as well as more unusual red flowered varieties, all of which produce a mass of flowers all summer long. Every year we design new spring and summer gardens and supply the seeds so horticultural students from Capel Manor College can grow the plants, plant them out and maintain the gardens as part of their studies.’

A dedicated leaflet can be found in The Ruby Garden greenhouse and at the Capel Manor Gardens entrance, which includes a map and details of all the flowers, along with a few words about Mr Fothergill’s anniversary.

To find out more about these seeds and the rest of the Mr Fothergill’s range, log on at