Get ahead with spring sowing

February 16th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Calendula 'Snow Princess'

Well, last week I was talking about seeds not to sow this month, so this time I’m reversing the idea – what can we sow now that we should have sown in the autumn?

I’m always bashing on about how autumn is a really good time to sow a number of popular annuals, especially those that grow naturally in the Mediterranean region where they germinate at the end of summer and in autumn as the rains begin. Sweet peas, nigellas, cornflowers, cerinthe, calendulas, and annual chrysanthemums all produce superb plants from an autumn sowing. But we don’t always get round to it. So can we sow them now and still get ahead of the usual March or April sowing? Yes, we can.

The problem is that in February the soil is so cold that germination is very slow and slugs and rots of all kinds can kill seedlings before they get anywhere. But if we can get them to start to grow in February they’ll make better plants than if they’re sown a month later. Here’s what I suggest.

If you have a cold greenhouse, then you’re all set. Sow sweet peas in Rootrainers and the others in regular modules, sow them and grow them on in the cold greenhouse and plant out in April.

But, if you don’t have a greenhouse, here’s what to do. Sow the seeds in Rootrainers or other modules and keep them in the house, anywhere warm. The seeds need more warmth for speedy germination than they do for growing. Then, as soon as the seeds show signs of emerging, move them outside. Don’t wait until their leaves unfurl and the stems start to stretch. Where, exactly, you move them is important.

Choose somewhere warm and cosy, a position that benefits from as much low late winter sun as possible. Ensure that surplus moisture can drain away and, crucially, protect the emerging seedlings from slugs. I use organic SlugClear™ Ultra³  slug pellets which I find work very well.

I used this method with sweet peas and with calendulas last year, I’m expecting to prove the point with other annuals this this year. Why not give it a try?

Chippenham Park Open Gardens and see the Snowdrops with your RHS Membership

February 15th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Chippenham-park_open_garden

Close to both Ely and also Cambridge, Chippenham Park is a private Grade II listed family home set in 300-acres. This is an historic garden, first created in the 17th century and some features have remained static throughout history including the walled kitchen garden, the formal waterway and complex waterways, and some of the trees.The 40-acre formal and informal gardens are spectacular all year round – from possibly the greatest display of delicate and naturalised snowdrops and aconites in East Anglia in February, daffodils and early spring bulbs in April, summer borders and roses in June through to late-summer borders and autumn colour. There are some lovely walks by the lakes, canals and through the ‘Wilderness’ – an area of berrying trees and shrubs.

The Spring Garden with its breathtaking display of daffodils, narcissi and shrubs stretches for half a mile around the lake. In summer visitors can see a huge display of nearly 500 roses, a multitude of shrub and climbing roses and large well-stocked borders of interesting shrubs and perennials. And the autumn months offer a wonderful time of the year to see the fabulous differing colours of the rare and unusual trees in an area of semi-wild planting as well as many late borders.

To find out more about the Chippenham Open Gardens click here.

 

Mr Fothergill’s is proud to have entered into a new partnership with The RHS to bring out a range of flower seeds and vegetable seeds for home gardeners.  The extensive flower seed range creates beautiful garden displays with excellent performance. Additionally they have been awarded RHS’s perfect for pollinators, as the best source of food for pollinating insects.  The vegetable collection, of 56 AGM varieties, includes excellent modern strains as well as much-loved, trusted favourites.

The RHS Award of Garden Merit is a mark of quality, awarded to garden plants with excellent garden performance. Each award is given only after a trial at an RHS Garden and judge by a team of experts.

Royal Horticultural Society

 

To browse all the RHS events follow this link to the website.

Take a look at the RHS Range of flower seeds and vegetable seeds on the Mr Fothergill’s website.

 

 

RHS Award of Garden Merit seed range Offers Sowing Success for Home Gardeners

February 13th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill’s marks its RHS preferred partner status with the launch of a trusted AGM seed range for 2018

Gardeners can make their selections for 2018 from a brand new flower and vegetable seed range, safe in the knowledge that the varieties have been tried, tested and recommended by experts at the Royal Horticultural Society.

The launch of our RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) seed range follows our appointment as preferred partner for licensed seed products for the RHS, a testament to the quality of Mr Fothergill’s seed. Ian Cross, retail marketing manager at Mr Fothergill’s, said: “We trial all varieties in UK conditions before releasing them into our general seed range, but we have gone even further in the search for trusted garden varieties with our new RHS AGM collection. We have worked closely with the RHS to develop a range that we all agree is the best it could possibly be for home gardeners.”

To carry the prestigious AGM logo, all plants in the range have been grown and tested in RHS Gardens and judged by a forum of industry experts. Plants only receive the award if they are proven to have excellent garden performance and are stable in form and colour. They also have to show reasonable resistance to garden pests and diseases.

Cathy Snow, RHS licensing manager, adds: “The AGM ‘seal of approval’ tells gardeners that the plant performs reliably in the garden and is the ultimate guarantee of quality. Mr Fothergill’s has a well-earned reputation for its passion to supply the very best quality gardening products and we are delighted to be partnering with such a highly respected company. Mr Fothergill’s seeds are the only RHS endorsed seed range available.”

Early sales show that Erigeron Profusion, a hardy perennial and Ammi majus, an easy to grow cut flower are the top choices from the flower seed range, whilst Broad Bean Imperial Green Longpod and Sweet Corn Lark F1 are favourites in the vegetable seed collection.

Mr-Fothergills-RHS-award-of-garden-of-merit-Erigeron-profusionMr-Fothergills-RHS-award-of-garden-of-merit-sweetcorn-Lark-F1
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available now from selected garden retailers and on our website, the range comprises 61 top-performing flower varieties and 57 choice vegetables all winners of the RHS AGM award.

Not only will gardeners be guaranteed excellent performance from the new range, they will also be doing their bit for local wildlife and the charitable work of the RHS. The flower varieties in the collection have, wherever possible, been selected from the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list, maintained by RHS entomologists and beekeepers.

View the range at selected garden retailers or visit www.mr-fothergills.co.uk

New Pollinator Friendly Perennials

February 12th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

We are delighted to announce the launch of three new ranges of perennials, adding to our already comprehensive plant offering.

“We are always very interested in plants which attract pollinating insects to the garden and these new ranges of Echinacea, Monarda and Rudbeckia do just the job” says Emilia Merola, Mr Fothergill’s Brand Manager.

Echinacea from the Meadow Mama Series are incredibly prolific with bright and unusual coloured flowers which have perfectly flat petals and prominent central cones in shades of gold and russet brown – easily identifiable for bees and butterflies. The plants reach a height of around 60cm and have particularly strong and sturdy stems. Ideal for the border and quite striking in patio pots. “We are confident this new series is going to be very popular with our customers” comments Emilia. Five varieties are available; Fiery, Innocent, Laughing, Playful and Sweet Meadow Mama, all priced at £12.95 for 3 young plants. A collection of all 5 can be purchased for £18.95 with a collection of 10 (two of each) for £29.90, saving £8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monardas are much famed for attracting pollinators to the garden and plants from the Bee Series are no exception. Reaching a height of 45cm, plants are naturally bushy, well-branched and totally mildew free – often a problem with older varieties. “Bees and butterflies just can’t resist their sweet nectar and fragrance” says Emilia. “They performed brilliantly in our trials last summer with their strong and bold colours retaining their richness well into autumn”. Three varieties are being offered; Bee Free, Bee Happy and Bee Lieve, all priced at £9.95 for 3 young plants. A collection of all 3 can be bought for £10.95 and a saving of £5 can be made if ordering a collection of 6 (two of each) for £16.90.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large flowered Rudbeckias are generally associated with annual types and are much loved for their bold colours and insect attracting qualities, whereas perennial varieties are smaller flowered and come in a more limited colour palette. Plants from the new Smiley Series, however, break this mould. Fully perennial, they are a hybrid between an Echinacea and an annual Rudbeckia resulting in plants which are capable of returning year on year with all the vigour, colour and long blooming time of annual types. “Our trials team just loved their bold colours and their ability to flower in just 8 weeks from propagation!” says Emilia. Reaching a height of 50cm, they are ideal for the mid-border and large patio pots. The company is offering three varieties; Blushing, Giggling and Lemon Smiley with 3 young plants priced at £13.95. A collection of all 3 can be purchased for £14.95 and a double collection (two of each) costs £22.90, a save of £7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spend some of February half-term at RHS Rosemoor

February 12th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

ebruary-half-term-at-RHS-RosemoorThis half term the RHS garden Rosemoor is getting muddy!

Enjoy mud, machines and total mayhem this February half term, with fun and messy drop-in activities throughout the week. Each day, enjoy a selection of quiz sheets and colouring templates to add to our giant farm and building site collage, plus take a picture with our mini-digger or small tractor and wear your wellies to have messy fun in our puddle splash!

Find out about all the daily activities here.

 

Mr Fothergill’s is proud to have entered into a new partnership with The RHS to bring out a range of flower seeds and vegetable seeds for home gardeners.  The extensive flower seed range creates beautiful garden displays with excellent performance. Additionally they have been awarded RHS’s perfect for pollinators, as the best source of food for pollinating insects.  The vegetable collection, of 56 AGM varieties, includes excellent modern strains as well as much-loved, trusted favourites.

The RHS Award of Garden Merit is a mark of quality, awarded to garden plants with excellent garden performance. Each award is given only after a trial at an RHS Garden and judge by a team of experts.

Royal Horticultural Society

 

To browse all the RHS events follow this link to the website.

Take a look at the RHS Range of flower seeds and vegetable seeds on the Mr Fothergill’s website.