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

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. 

 

 

Mr Fothergill’s Name New Sweet Pea after Capel Manor

August 15th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

mr-fothergills-new-sweet-pea-honours-capel-manor-college

We are delighted to introduce our new and exclusive large flowered variety of Sweet Pea for the forthcoming season which honours education provider Capel Manor. With large frilly two-tone deep purple blue blooms that are lightly scented, this vibrant classic Spencer type Sweet Pea will add colour and create perfect displays when planted over trellis or fences.

capel-manor-college-principal-malcolm-goodwin-unveils-new-sweet-pea-at-press-day

The new Sweet Pea was officially named at our annual press day by Malcolm Goodwin, Principal at Capel Manor College. Capel Manor College educates new generations of horticulturists, offering a range of courses for those who are interested in plants, trees and environment. We have a fantastic long-standing relationship with the College, working together to produce spring and summer display gardens. We also provide an award for their exceptional students every year.

Mr-Fothergills-Teresa-Maureen-seeds-are-new-to-our-Sweet-Pea-range Mr-Fothergills-Balcony-Mixed-seeds-are-new-to-our-Sweet-Pea-range Mr-Fothergills-Terry-Wogan-seeds-are-new-to-our-Sweet-Pea-range

Among other new Sweet Peas introduced in the 2018-2019 season we have the gorgeous dwarf and compact Teresa Maureen. This highly scented variety stands out from other Lathyrus odoratus with a mass of small flowers in pink, white and lavender shades.

Sweet Pea Balcony Mixed is a stunning blend of large white frilly blooms with coloured markings in red, orange, pink, blue, purple and magenta. This versatile, scented variety is perfect for large patio pots.

Sweet Pea Terry Wogan distinguishes itself with an incredible warm salmon rose colour which is more intense on the petal edges. It produces large fragrant blooms that make it the nation’s favourite cultivar.

A packet of 20 seeds are priced at just £2.35. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Sun survivor

August 10th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Amaranthus 'Velvet Curtains'Visiting the Mr F trial ground this week, it was clear that some plants had suffered badly in the heat while some had enjoyed it.

One that clearly loved the hot weather was Amaranthus ‘Velvet Curtains’, the RHS AGM winning hardy annual sown direct into the light and sandy soil of the trials field.

This dramatic relative of the familiar love-lies-bleeding is attractive from when the first richly coloured, reddish purple shoots emerge soon after sowing. The handsome foliage becomes more striking as it develops and I’ve seen it looking very dramatic emerging through a carpet of white alyssum. The white gypsophila that was also doing well in the heat would also make a taller and longer lasting partner.

Now, in August, the bold upright plumes of ‘Velvet Curtains’ are at their peak. I’ve grown them interplanted amongst orange dahlias and cannas to bring a softer look to the more structured dahlia and canna plants. If that’s the plan, raise the seedlings individually in pots from seed sown in a cold greenhouse, be sure not to let the plants dry out or suffer any shocks as this may spark them into flower prematurely.

‘Velvet Curtains’ is also splendid for drying, especially as the colour fades hardly at all. Cut the stems when the flowers are at their peak – about now! Strip off the lower leaves, tie the stems in bunches of half a dozen then hang them upside down in a cool and dry and well ventilated place. Drying in cool conditions (which is at last possible as everything cools down) helps preserve the richness of the colour.

Leave the plumes on the plants into the autumn and they will shed their seeds. This can be double-edged as you may end up with far more self sown seedlings than you need. The best compromise is to cut some for drying, cut back most of the rest to prevent self sowing and just leave a stem or two to shed seed. And if seedlings come up in inconvenient places next spring – well, you can always move them.

Mr Fothergill’s Joins Forces with BBC Children in Need

August 9th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill’s is delighted to announce its new partnership with BBC Children in Need, to launch two seed packets for children – Sunflower Pudsey and Pumpkin Pudsey. 30p from each packet sold will benefit BBC Children in Need, to help make a real difference to the lives of children all across the UK.

The bright and fun packets have an RRP of £1.99 each and feature the familiar Pudsey Bear character. Why not have a competition to see who can grow the tallest sunflower or scariest pumpkin!

About BBC Children in Need
BBC Children in Need believe that every child in the UK should have a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential. To help achieve their vision, they provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. They currently support 2,400 of these projects. Since 1980, over £800 million has been raised in aid of BBC Children in Need.

Mr Fothergill’s Children in Need seed packets are available to buy now from selected garden retailers.

To find out more about the Mr Fothergill’s range, log on at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk

Seeds Tested Whatever the Weather

August 9th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

As all gardeners know, 2018 has been a challenging year weather-wise and Mr Fothergill’s, the UK leading seed company, can confirm it from their Suffolk weather station data!

In the February to August period the range of temperature was 41C, between -7.2c and +33.8C.
After a particularly cold and wet winter, where temperatures were at freezing from early October and still very cold well into May, the weather changed dramatically. The great drought then arrived in the main growing period with 54 days of no rain – only 21 mm coming on the day the heatwave broke on Friday 27th July when the temperature also peaked at 33.8C.

In June and July 2018 Mr Fothergill’s experienced 33 days where the temperature was over 24C. In June and July 2017 there were only 6 days including the annual high of 27C!

From January to the end of July 2018 Mr Fothergill’s received 230mm of rain which is actually more than the same period in 2017. The difference was distribution with most of that rain coming in the first three months of the year and little since while it was more evenly spread over the six month is 2017.

Despite the vagaries of the UK weather, the seed trials were doing their job at Mr Fothergill’s and looked superb. In this way the company are testing all their varieties in real life conditions to ensure everything is fit for purpose for the home gardener.

Rachel Cole, Seeds Manager at Mr Fothergill’s said: “The weather is different every year and that’s why our trial grounds are so important to us. We can be sure of the quality of everything we sell and absolutely certain things will perform in UK conditions, however varied. Our weather station has proved invaluable in allowing us to track performance against conditions.”

We are 40 and fabulous!

August 8th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

We are celebrating our 40th year in business this year. On the 17th August 1978 our company was created by Brian Carey and Jeff Fothergill. Jeff’s surname was chosen for the company’s brand and the ‘old boy character’ was born. The objective was to create a friendly and established feel. This certainly worked as many people are surprised that they’ve not been around much longer, convinced that they remember their parents buying Mr Fothergill’s seeds years before it existed. In fact compared to other seed brands Mr Fothergill’s is a relative youngster but it was the injection of new ideas and application of our youthful enthusiasm for selling seeds that has driven the company from a tiny start-up to one of the largest packet seed suppliers in Europe.

A printed declaration of seeds per packet, foil sachets and pictoral packets of British native wild flowers are just a few of the things that where pioneered by us and are now taken for granted.

Over the past four decades we have added other brand names to our portfolio and now operate three brands in the retail market with Mr Fothergill’s, Johnsons and Country Value. These brands have also worked in partnership with well-known organisations and personalities to produce separate specialist seed ranges including; The Royal Horticultural Society, Sarah Raven, Jekka McVicar and David Domoney. They have also been keen to support charities where ever they can and currently raise funds through product sales and other activities for Greenfingers, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Plant Heritage, The RSPB and The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust.

Management of the company has now changed to a second generation with John Fothergill and David Carey taking over the reigns as joint managing directors so it remains a wholly family owned and run business.

David & John said “We feel lucky to be working in an industry that ultimately creates joy, satisfaction, relaxation and purpose (to name but a few things) across such a wide spectrum of people. Service, quality, choice and innovation are the four cornerstones of our business that shape what we offer and how we work with our customers. Something that we will remain focused on for the next forty years and hopefully beyond”.

Mr-Fothergills-40th-anniversary-1970-style-garden

The 1970’s Garden

The Modern Garden

Our Mr Fothergill’s trials team have created two gardens on the Suffolk trial ground this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary. They have been designed to show the shift in trends over the years with a typical small garden of the 70’s with neat formal lines of bedding versus an up to date small garden that incorporates flowers with fruit and vegetables, upcycling and area for relaxation.