Posts Tagged ‘bedding plants’

Nation of Gardeners results: Antirrhinum Purple Twist F1

March 3rd, 2014 | Nation of Gardeners, The flower garden | 0 Comments

antirrhinum purple twistAntirrhinum Purple Twist F1 is breed of snap dragons newly introduced by Mr Fothergills for 2014.  It performed well in trials at Kentford in 2013 and is set to be a fun addition to the annual border with the purple flowering spikes flecked and striped with white.  The plants grow to a height of 40 inches and is a half hardy perennial that can also be used for bedding when treated as a half hardy annual.

Our Nation of Gardeners were asked to sow Antirrhinum Purple Twist F1 in January 2014 to check for performance of these newly introduced seeds.   The table below charts their progress.

Location Elevation Date planted Date first signs of growth Notes
Cheshire 49m 26 January 3 February The Antirrhinum showed germination of 80% (16/20 seedings to seeds)  Day 1 planted 20 seeds, Day 8: 5 seedlings, Day10: 15 seedlings, Day 16: 16 seedlings. V slow growth
Renfrewshire 28m 18 January 23 February Pot placed on heated propagator mat.  Good germination rate although lost a few to damping off.  Seedlings still tiny as at 23/2/14 – around 0.5 inches tall
North Devon 30-50m 22 January 3 February Sown on South East facing windowsill – no added heat source.  19 seedlings emerged.  14/3/14: Still growing all seedlings, but very slow progress
Worcestershire 55m 27 January 9 February 10 seedlings appeared on 9/2/14 but only 4 survived. By 17/2 only 4 seedlings left.
Derbyshire 39m
Cumbria 90m
Ceredigion 131m 17 January Sown outside in caravan at 13C, south east facing.
Bristol 55m 30 January 3 February Sown in a south facing room
Suffolk 6m 21 January 26 January Sown into propagator at 22 degrees.
Hertfordshire 150m 26 January 17 February Sown in west facing room
Surrey 58m 26 January 20 February Soil mixed with fine dry sand 17c, room 16c, south west facing.  20 February: Strong seedlings (18 in total), developing 2nd set of leaves 23 February: Transplanted to single cell pots
Pontypridd 157m 27 January 6 February Strong seedlings.  23 February: potted on to individual cells
Buckinghamshire 66m 22 January 16 February Thought they had failed to germinate. However found 2 germinated seedlings on 16 February
Guildford 56m 28 January Sown on windowsill in unheated propagator.  Slow to germinate. 5 March: Excellent germination and looking strong
Gloucestershire 74m 21 January 26 January
Moray 14 February Sowed onto East facing windowsill.
Derbyshire 241m 19 January 25 January Heated propagator to germinate 6 Feb: Looking very feeble and as if they will die any second. Flopped over unable to support the two small leaves on the hair thin stalk. 15 Feb: all dead.

The perfect plant for containers, beds and borders

January 24th, 2014 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

“Just about the perfect plant in all respects for containers, beds and borders” is plant manager Tom Stimpson’s summing up of the brand new Coreopsis that Mr Fothergill’s is introducing for the 2014 season.  He spotted Solanna™ Golden Sphere while visiting trial grounds in the summer of 2013.

Coreopsis Solanna Golden SphereTom says, “This plant stood out for the sheer number of blooms per plant – literally hundreds throughout the growing season. Talking to the breeder, I was surprised to learn that it is also hardy given well drained conditions and will start to flower from early May.  I grew several at home they were still flowering in November, and also noticed they were not bothered by pest or disease.  For me, Coreopsis Golden Sphere is a real star!”

As well as its flower power and length of blooming time, the plant habit is excellent too, being neat, compact and non-leggy, even towards the end of the growing season.  The plants keep their neat shape – perfect for container planting, or for providing a focal point in borders or for edging a path.  Flower size is also large for a coreopsis and, as its name suggests, the fully double blooms are totally ball-shaped and sit above very strong stems – even when windy, the blooms do not suffer.

Then flowers age well and do not become discoloured.  Bees and butterflies are certainly attracted to the heads, while its strong stems make Solanna™ Golden Sphere ideal for cutting, and the flowers last well in the vase.  It grows to 50cm (20in) and five young plants, despatched from mid April 2014 cost £8.95.

Request a free copy of Mr Fothergill’s Seed, Plant and Bulb Catalogue 2014 online, telephone 0845 371 0518 or write to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB.

Mr Fothergill’s display of Zinnias leaves Brian California dreaming

September 2nd, 2013 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

“The best show of zinnias I have seen anywhere at any time outside of California!” is how Mr Fothergill’s trials manager Brian Talman describes the display of these half-hardy annuals on the company’s Kentford, Suffolk, trial grounds during the summer of 2013.  Brian has been a professional grower for 50 years, so his view is always highly regarded by his colleagues.

Zinnia from Mr Fothergills“The weather this summer has been a key to their success”, says Brian.  “They really love the heat, although as they are grown close to a belt of trees they do not get full sun all day long.  And it’s important to remember they dislike root disturbance, so we sow seed in cells and transplant very carefully”.   He has also found zinnias do well when seed is sown directly in the flowering position.  They have out-performed all other annual genera in 2013 by standing the early wet spell and long hot summer better than most.

Brian and his team have noticed zinnias attract a large number of beneficial insects and a good range of butterflies.  They are also superb for cutting, as the strong-stemmed heads will last for several days in water.  The display on Mr Fothergill’s trial ground was still in full flower at the end of August with the promise of it lasting until at least the end of September.

Among Mr Fothergill’s introductions for 2014 is Zinnia Zahara Sunburst, a compact growing bicolour which becomes smothered in blooms all summer long.  A packet of 25 seeds costs £3.99.