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. 

 

 

Look and learn

May 25th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Chelsea look and learn Dianthus display from Calamazag Plant Nursery

At the Chelsea Flower Show, we’re used to exhibits that simply look wonderful, and the Great Pavilion is full of them… fifty five exhibits winning Gold Medals. But this year there’s a display of pinks that perfectly combines an attractive display of well grown plants with information about them.

So often, all that accompanies the plants is the name. But Cornwall’s Calamazag Plant Nursery, in a simple, colourful and stylish way, tells us something about the history and propagation of these essential, sunloving perennials. And does so without our eyes glazing over – there’s just enough information to take in during a long day at a busy flower show, presented clearly and effectively.

For example: many of us know that the classic garden old Victorian pink ‘Mrs Sinkins’ was raised by the Master of the Slough Workhouse and named for his wife. But did you now that his original idea was to name it ‘Queen Victoria’ – until, shall we say, his wife made her feelings clear!

And did you know that in the 19th century, clove scented varieties were eaten in salads, used to flavour food and drinks, used to decorate cakes and as treatments for heartburn. Soaked in wine, clove scented pinks were also traditionally given to brides after marriage ceremonies.

Many of those old Victorian are still available, along with our wild native Cheddar pink, Dianthus gratianopolitanus. Almost wiped out by people digging up the plants in its native Cheddar Gorge and by scrub smothering the plants, the Cheddar pink increasing again.

It’s great to be able to admire a Chelsea exhibit and learn a little something too.

This year’s Chelsea colour

May 24th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Lupins and salvias in these rich colours were this year's fashionable Chelsea plants

This year, it’s dark blue, it’s purple, it’s lupins and it’s perennial salvias.

Every year at Chelsea there’s a colour or a plant – sometimes a very specific variety and sometimes a more general theme – that turns up all over the Show Gardens and all over the Great Pavilion. Informal, naturalistic planting now totally dominates but the key plants vary from year to year.

For a few years it was alliums, one year it was coppery-leaved sedges. It’s even been cow parsley – cow parsley! I never thought I’d hear people asking at the Mr F seed stand for packets of cow parsley seed!

This year I lost count of the number of show gardens using purple lupins in their plantings and using blue-purple perennial salvias. The Urban Flow Garden (above), designed by Tony Woods, is one of a number using both and placing them together very effectively right at the front of the display.

On the Gaze Burvill display dark salvias jostle with alliums and lavender, on the Spirit of Cornwall garden, designed by Stuart Charles Towner, salvias mingle with vivid blue anchusas, purple flowered chives, and borage. Although similar in tone, grouping these plants together well can be a challenge, the idea is for the whole display to be more than the sum of its parts but, sometimes, the parts is all it is.

Not so on the LG Eco-City Garden, designed by Hay-Joung Hwang, where salvias are artfully grouped with anchusas, cerinthe, alliums and purple-leaved fennel.

A noticeable second favourite plant this year is Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. Used on show gardens to intermingle with the salvias or with sparky blue anchusas, it was also seen in bold groups in the Great Pavilion.

So… With little sign of cow parsley at the Show this year (but plenty along roadsides across the country, where it belongs), the Show’s signature plants really are worth growing. The trouble is, they sell out so fast.

The winner of RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2018 is…. Optigrow

May 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

We are delighted to announce that its cutting-edge range was awarded for quality, innovation and environmental sustainability!

Mr-Fothergills-winner-of-RHS-Chelsea-Garden-Product-of-the-Year-2018-with-Optigrow-Parsley        Mr-Fothergills-winner-of-RHS-Chelsea-Garden-Product-of-the-Year-2018-with-Optigrow-Carrot

This year, the winner of the RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2018 is Mr Fothergill’s Optigrow seeds which competed for the prestigious title with 11 eclectic finalists.

Optigrow is a revolutionary, non-chemical seed priming treatment that uses only water and air to get the seed biologically ready for germination, breaking dormancy prior to use. It is then quickly dried back to a storable state for packing, just like any other seed. The treatment means seeds wake up and get underway within hours of hitting the soil.

Not only do Optigrow seeds promise superfast germination, they are also proven to produce vigorous seedlings able to out-grow competing weeds. Extensive trialling of Optigrow seeds under garden conditions has consistently produced more uniform crops, better harvests and quality vegetables.

There is also evidence that germination becomes possible under a wider range of conditions, allowing gardeners to sow Optigrow seeds in colder, warmer and drier conditions than the ideal.

The-judging-panel-for-product-of-the-year-at-RHS-Chelsea-2018

The judges said: ‘In a world where we are trying to remove the use of chemicals, this unique non-chemical process naturally prepares seeds for more successful sowing. Anything that removes disappointment in seeds germination it to be welcomed.’

Our Retail Marketing Manager, Ian Cross, said: ‘We are very pleased that Optigrow was recognised by the judges. Seed priming has been used in professional growing for many years but launch of this range marks a real step change in the seed market. It presents the professional and hobby gardener alike with genuine and valuable performance benefits. It is the most exciting development for home gardeners since the introduction of F1 hybrid seed varieties. ‘

We are Celebrating the Year of the Carrot with Four Vibrant Carrots Added to our Line Up for the 2019 Season

May 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Mr-Fothergills-new-Carrot-variety-Gold-Nugget-F1

Supporting Fleuroselect’s Year of the Carrot, we have added four new varieties to its existing selection.

  • RHS AGM winner Carrot Malbec F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds) is a red long rooted, imperator type. It is perfect for roasting with exceptional flavour. The unusual hue makes it a greatest addition.
  • Carrot Gold Nugget F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds) produces long smooth-skinned yellow roots.
  • Exclusive to Mr Fothergill’s, Carrot Volcano F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds), distinguishes itself with strength and reliability. It is resistant to breakage, splitting and disease.
  • For maincrop, Carrot Purple Haze F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds) provides ‘Nantes’ type, dark purple roots with a bright orange core.

 

 

Mr-Fothergills-new varieties-2019-Dwarf-French-Bean

Kale Candy Floss (RRP £2.10 for 50 seeds) features large leaves enveloping a central heart in an eye-catching pink colour. Its leaves are full of flavour and will retain the colour when cooked. It is a vibrant variety that can be grown for both ornamental and edible purposes.

Other vegetable highlights include new and exclusive Dwarf French Bean Red Swan (RRP £3.05 for 100 seeds), a remarkably decorative heritage variety with pink flowers and pink tinged pods.

For high yields of extra fine green pods Dwarf French Bean Nautica (RRP £2.75 for 100 seeds) is a perfect choice, whereas Dwarf French Bean Cala d’Or (RRP £2.75 for 100 seeds) provides large crops of yellow, great flavoured beans.

 

Mr-Fothergills-new-variety-2019-Morning-Glory-Party-Dress-flower-seeds

Among the new flower varieties look at Morning Glory Party Dress (RRP £2.30 for 30 seeds), which produces pink blooms that flower noticeably earlier than other cultivars. This vigorous climber will keep this colour spinning all summer long. Large magenta flowers contrast beautifully with white centres.

  • Other new include Brachycome Blue Star (RRP £1.80 for 200 seeds)
  • Cornflower Classic Fantastic (RRP £2.35 for 200 seeds)
  • Poppy Lauren’s Grape (RRP £2.10 for 500 seeds)
  • Silene Blue Angel (RRP £1.80 for 1000 seeds)
  • Sweet Pea Balcony Mixed (RRP £2.35 for 25 seeds)
  • Sweet Pea Teresa Maureen (RRP £2.35 for 20 seeds)
  • Sweet Pea Terry Wogan (RRP £2.35 for 20 seeds)
  • Sweet Pea Capel Manor (RRP £2.35 for 20 seeds)

We are Teaming up with the RHS to Send Seeds to Syrian Refugees

May 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Hundreds of Syrian refugees from the Domiz Camp in Northern Iraq are benefiting from receiving 2,000 flower and vegetable seed packets, from Mr Fothergill’s Seeds.

Sent as part of a project set up by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Lemon Tree Trust, the seeds were specially chosen by 200 Syrian families, who despite living in difficult circumstances, hope to gain some joy from the benefits of gardening. The list was made up of varieties that would bring colour to the camp and could be grown in the harsh conditions, including marigolds, sunflowers, peppers and cucumbers.

Lemon-Tree-trust-Garden-Mr-Fothergills-Blog-post       Lemon-Tree-trust-Garden-Mr-Fothergills-Blog-post-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The delivery of seeds to the refugee camp is reminiscent of a similar act, a hundred years ago, when the RHS sent seeds to British prisoners of war in the Ruhleben camp in Germany. Both instances showing that gardening and plants can bring hope, comfort and sanctuary to those displaced by war.

Tim Jeffries, our Commercial Director commented “We were absolutely delighted to be able to help out the RHS and The Lemon Tree Trust by donating seeds from our ranges. We hope that they will provide some pleasure for those living in the difficult conditions of the Domiz Camp.”

‘The Lemontree Trust Garden’ designed by Tom Massey, is being showcased at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year and is inspired by the gardening in the Domiz Camp, where the seeds were sent.

Mr-Fothergills-sends-seeds-to-irak-Sunflower-Valentine     Mr-Fothergills-sends-seeds-to-irak-Pepper-hot-Prairie-Fire