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. 

 

 

A super rosy snapdragon

February 15th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Antirrhinim 'Twinny Rose'

The wild snapdragon, Antirrhinum majus, is native to southern Europe and was probably grown in Britain long before Linnaeus formalised its name in 1753. Always appealing, if only because of the way we can make the flowers open their mouths by pinching them at the sides, it’s been constantly developed and improved.

We’ve had tall cut flower types a metre high, tiny bushy ones and trailers for hanging baskets. We’ve had two different kinds of variegated ones and we’ve had bronze-leaved ones. We’ve had flowers in every colour but blue, including some striking bicolours, and we’ve had varieties with flared instead of two-lipped flowers and some with almost double flowers. We even have a few with scent.

‘Twinny Rose’ is the prettiest of the seven varieties in the Twinny Series, but they all combine a number of valuable features. They’re dwarf, but not too dwarf – about 30cm – and make low rounded plants that are good at the front of borders or at the edge of tubs.

The flowers are a lovely soft rose pink, in fact they open pale rose pink and then darken as they mature so each plant will be covered in flowers in different rosy shades.

The individual flowers are flared, with extra petals in the centre. The great thing about this is that the bees find the flowers difficult to pollinate – and it’s pollination that triggers the fading of the flowers. So the flowers last longer.

‘Twinny Rose’ is a lovely little snapdragon and this year it’s available as young plants as well as from seed. Well worth a try, don’t you think?

Make a New Gardening Year’s Resolution and Get Growing Veg with David Domoney – for Mind, Body and Flavour!

February 14th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Have you thought about starting to grow vegetables but you feel it is overwhelming, too difficult or not sure of the benefits? Well, gardening has many advantages and eating vegetables from your own garden is a great way to ensure you are getting the most in terms of nutrition, flavour and value.

Gardening is good for us. It makes us happy because physical exercise releases endorphins which trigger positive feelings. Iowa State University has conducted research and suggests that planting can burn 177 calories in men and 135 calories in women every hour, and weeding can burn 157 calories for men and 156 for women!1

If you are not convinced yet… Gardening is a creative art that allows us to express ourselves, but it is also a way of caring for something, gives us satisfaction, pride and a sense of purpose2.

Get Growing with David Domoney and Mr Fothergill'sGet Growing with David Domoney and Mr Fothergill's

Mr Fothergill’s has teamed up with gardening expert David Domoney to create the Get Growing seed range aimed at newcomers to grow-your-own. The collection comprises 56 of the most reliable vegetable varieties in the Mr Fothergill’s range, plus 10 easy to use seed mats and tapes for no-effort sowing.

Though aimed at building confidence and ensuring success among new gardeners, both novice and experienced growers will benefit from the tried and tested range of quality seeds. Each packet offers simple, jargon-free growing instructions and easy reference icons, while a QR code on every packet links gardeners to further ‘on the spot’ advice from David’s website www.daviddomoney.com

Get Growing with David Domoney and Mr Fothergill's

David Domoney said: “I am delighted to be working with the team at Mr Fothergill’s. Growing seeds is such great fun, and I want my range to encourage many more budding gardeners to get growing from seed. Whether garden experts or first-timers connecting with a plant, the moment seed germinates is a special experience that everyone should enjoy.”

Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk

1https://www.daviddomoney.com/get-fit-gardening/

2Gardening as a mental health intervention: A Review by Jane Clatworthy, Joe Hinds and Paul M. Camic

Gardening: The Feel Good Factor by Thrive

Best lupins money can buy

February 8th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Lupins ‘Blossom’, ‘Masterpiece’, and ‘Polar Princess’ (l-r)These are the best lupins you can buy. It’s as simple as that. Let me explain.

George Russell, back in the 1930s, was the first to develop lupins in this style, allowing bees to cross the yellow-flowered tree lupin with the blue-flowered perennial L. polyphyllus to create – eventually – dazzling, long spiked plants in amazing colours and colour combinations. He worked for decades slowly improving them year by year. He raised an astonishing 152 named varieties in all but there was always a problem; his lupins were difficult to propagate.

Each plant only produced a few cuttings so there were never very many plants to sell. One attempt to solve the problem was to grow them from seed and it’s certainly possible to grow seed-raised lupins without much difficulty. They’re colourful, it’s true, but the fact is that the quality is just not there and purple colouring and then gappy spikes tend to dominate. In the end his named varieties faded away. Virus diseases didn’t help.

In 1985, Woodfield Lupins won the first of ten Gold Medals at Chelsea having used the remaining Russell Lupins to develop new varieties. But, again, propagation was a problem.

Then for many years, down in Devon, Sarah Conibear worked on creating her own named varieties in the same style and she too won Gold Medals at Chelsea with them. But now there’s a difference. Modern laboratory propagation techniques have made it easier to produce these impressive named lupins in sufficient numbers to offer them here.

They come in a collection of five varieties: ‘Blossom’, ‘Masterpiece’, and ‘Polar Princess’ (l-r above) plus ‘Manhattan Lights’ (purple and yellow) and ‘Tequila Flame’ (red and yellow).

And you know what else? They’re all deliciously fragrant! Why not try the very best of all lupins?

Carrots Take Centre Stage in Mr Fothergill’s New Variety Line-up for the 2019 Season

February 6th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Supporting Fleuroselect’s Year of the Carrot, Mr Fothergill’s has 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.

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carrot-volcano-f1-is-resistant-to-breakage-splitting-and-disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

kale-candy-floss-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.

dwarf-french-bean-cala-dor-provides-large-crops-of-yellow-great-flavoured-beans

Among the new flower varieties in Mr Fothergill’s, look out for 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 introductions include Brachycome Blue Star (RRP £1.80 for 200 seeds), Cornflower Classic Fantastic (RRP £2.35 for 200 seeds), Poppy Laurens 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).

morning-glory-party-dress-produces-pink-blooms-that-flower-noticeably-earlier-than-other-cultivars cornflower-classic-fantastic-are-a-fast-growing-cottage-garden-favourite

How to Prepare Your Garden For Winter Frosts

February 5th, 2019 | Garden Diaries, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Temperatures have noticeably dropped over the past few weeks. It’s got very close to freezing in my garden, so it’s safe to say the first frosts of winter aren’t far off. Preparing the garden for the colder months ahead is a wise move, to keep overwintering plants and your hard-working soil happy. Read on our watch our video to discover simple, cost-effective ways to do just that.

warm soil protect from frost

Protect Soil in Winter

Leaving soil exposed risks depleting the beneficial life contained within it. Keep the likes of worms, bugs and fungi happy by laying organic matter over the surface before it gets too cold. A layer of organic material such as well-rotted compost or manure, spread 1-2in (3-5cm) deep is thick enough to keep soil life fed and protect the soil itself from erosion, yet thin enough to enable hard frosts to penetrate the soil below, thereby helping to control overwintering pests.

Fast Frost Protection

Keep row covers at the ready so they can be used at a moment’s notice. Store them somewhere dry, ideally neatly rolled up and off the ground to keep them clear of vermin such as mice. Dirty polythene covers should be washed down then dried so they’re ready to deploy.

When frost threatens, or if you simply want to extend your cropping period, the row covers can quickly be put into position, held down at the sides with stones, bricks or staples.

Homemade Crop Protection

Don’t forget the many homemade options for cold weather protection. Clear plastic bottles, cut in half, are great for fitting over individual small plants, either outside or as an added layer of warmth inside the greenhouse.

Cold frames can be costly but it’s very easy to make your own. Check out our step by step guide to making your own cold frame.

garden-fleece-and-hoops-are-great-for-protecting-crops-during-colder-monthsTemporary Tunnels

Clear plastic may also be secured onto homemade hoops, making a handy hoop house. The one below uses lengths of PVC water pipe, secured onto lengths of rebar hammered into the ground and connected at the top by a central ridge of piping. It’s an effective way to keep winter hardy salads and vegetables safe from harsh weather.

Protecting Root Crops from Frost

Many root crops such as carrots and beets can be left in the ground until they’re needed. Some, like parsnips, actively improve with frost, becoming more tender and sweeter.

Lay a mulch of compost, straw, dried leaves or leaf mold about six inches (15cm) thick to help keep frosts at bay, but if the ground is likely to freeze solid for weeks on end, dig up your root crops to store them somewhere cool, dry and frost-free.

Protect Containers

In winter the biggest enemy of containerized crops such as herbs is the wet. Persistently wet potting soil can turn lethal in cold weather. Make sure excess moisture can drain away by lifting up containers onto pot feet. You can use elegant pot feet, or just improvise with stones, for example.

Delicate containers can crack if potting soil freezes solid and expands. You can stop this happening by wrapping pots up in bubble plastic or burlap. Or look for pots sold as frost-resistant. Sensitive plants and pots can also be moved somewhere more sheltered – against the house for instance, or into a greenhouse.

Insulate Your Greenhouse

Inside a greenhouse it makes more sense to protect individual plants rather than trying to heat the entire structure. Wrap frost-sensitive plants up in row cover fabric. Alternatively, section off an area of the greenhouse and heat this smaller space instead.

Old polystyrene fish boxes are great for insulating smaller plants like winter salad leaves against the worst of the cold. Most already include drainage slots at the corners, so you can fill them with potting soil and plant directly. Or just drop trays and pots into the boxes for a snug fit. Cover with fabric or plastic overnight for extra protection.

Know Your First Frost Date

Knowing when to expect your first frost is important for planning your frost protection. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the weather forecast too.

Help your plants stay warmer or use the frosts to your advantage. Either way, being prepared will help you to successfully work with winter. How do you get ready for the frosty weather? You can let us know in the comments section below.

Try some of these techniques to protect your garden from frost! If you have any of your own tips and tricks for for the winter months, comment below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page.