Posts Tagged ‘Fleuroselect’

Gold medal winners old and new

January 24th, 2020 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Fleuroselect Gold Medal winners Lavatera 'Silver Cup' and Zinnia ‘Queeny Lime Orange’

Fleuroselect is the Europe-wide organisation that trials new annuals and gives awards to the very best. The idea is to highlight the finest new plants so that home gardeners can choose varieties we can depend on.

Trial grounds where the assessments are made are scattered all across Europe and, in the organisation’s fiftieth anniversary year, a new trials site has been added to the roster – the Mr F trials in Suffolk!

Every year new varieties are grown, unidentified, under code numbers – to eliminate any chance of bias – and voted on by experienced and knowledgeable growers. The very best performers are awarded a coveted Gold Medal.

Now you may wonder what relevance the results from trials sites in Italy or Russia have to us in Britain. Well, if a variety does well enough across Europe to be awarded a Gold Medal then it’s likely to do well in different situations here in Britain.

One of the best early winners was Lavatera ‘Silver Cup’, gaining its Gold Medal in 1979 and still going strong as is Alyssum ‘Snow Crystals’ (1989). The pick of recent Gold medal winners is last year’s Zinnia ‘Queeny Lime Orange’, an entirely new colour in zinnias. Mr F will soon be highlighting the Gold Medal winners in the print catalogue and online.

Of course, many older Gold Medal winners have also been superseded by newer introductions, development is rapid and competition to create improved varieties is intense. But even those winners from long ago are still good plants and worth growing.

Mr Fothergill’s Trial Ground Awarded Fleuroselect Status

January 14th, 2020 | News | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds, the Newmarket-based seed experts, are delighted to announce our selection as a trial site for Fleuroselect, the international organisation for the ornamental plants industry.

The company will now undertake trials of newly bred, yet to be launched, ornamental varieties on our trial field site and evaluate according to criteria such as wow factor, innovation, and technical features such as floriferousness and garden performance. The assessments will count towards the award of prestigious Fleuroselect gold medals and approved novelty awards.

The last of the UK seed companies with a fully functioning field trial, we will be the furthest west of all the 18 Fleuroselect trial grounds which stretch across mainland Europe to Russia in the east.

A colourful photo of the Mr Fothergills Trial Ground 2017

Tim Jeffries, commercial director at Mr Fothergill’s and a member of the Fleuroselect Home Garden Committee, said: “We are delighted to become a Fleuroselect trial facility as it is further recognition of our place as a leader in the European seed industry. Our trials, run by Brian Talman who has 60 years of horticultural experience, have long been recognised as among the very best of their type in Europe. Although quality control is the main driver of our trials, we also seek to evaluate forthcoming new varieties and their suitability for UK gardeners and this development sits perfectly with that aim.”

Sally van der Horst, secretary general of Fleuroselect added; “Mr Fothergill’s have long been an important member of the Fleuroselect family and a driver for the interests of the home gardener. We are so happy that such a prestigious home gardeners’ trial will include Fleuroselect entries.”

Fleuroselect celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020 and allows industry professionals to join together to test and evaluate new pot and bedding plants, promote award winners, protect member varieties, network with each other and contribute to the development and advancement of the industry as a whole. The current membership comprises approximately 75 pot and bedding plant breeders, producers and distributors, mostly European, but also from Japan, Russia, the U.S., China and Thailand.

Mr Fothergill’s introduces new Cucumber Swing F1 for the Year of the Cucumber

September 2nd, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Supporting Fleuroselect’s Year of the Cucumber, Mr Fothergill’s has added a new variety to its existing selection. Cucumber Swing F1 (RRP £2.55 for 5 seeds) is a great cucumber with all female flowers for outdoor or greenhouse growing.  Fruits are 20cm long, have dark green shiny skin with a juicy flesh. Slightly spined, resistant to powdery mildew and grows well in unfavourable weather conditions.

An exciting dwarf Dill Nano (RRP £2.15 for 200 seeds) is a perfect candidate for gardens with limited space, but also great for kitchen windowsills so it is reachable when cooking. It produces compact plants with deliciously aromatic leaves. Surplus can be dried or frozen.

Mr Fothergill's supporting Fleuroselect's Year of the Cucumber with Cucumber Swing F1Dill Nano, new to the Mr Fothergill's 2020 range

For the brave only, scorching hot Pepper (Hot) Devil’s Brew (RRP £2.55 for 30 seeds). It is a bushy variety producing a traffic-light mix of yellow, green and red peppers. A standard cayenne-type chilli, thin, pointed fruits about 8cm long and only 9mm wide. They start green and ripen to a beautiful eye-catching shade of red Damian, orange Kilian and yellow Kristian. Very good for Asian style cooking.

New and exclusive to Mr Fothergill’s, Viola Network Improved (RRP £2.40 for 125 seeds) has striking yellow flowers marked with a bold network of fine lines which gives a truly unique effect.  These robust plants are great additions for an eye-catching front of borders and patio containers.

New to the Mr Fothergill's range, Pepper (Hot) Devils BrewViola Network Improved, new to the Mr Fothergill's 2020 range

Vibrant, deep purple flower heads of Candytuft Purple Rain (RRP £1.45 for 300 seeds) generously cover compact plants with bright green foliage. Bushy, dwarf plants, with mounded habit are an ideal choice for low borders, rock gardens, containers and mass plantings. This groundcover bloomer can grow in poor, sandy or dry soils and stands against heat, humidity and drought.

Other new varieties include Calendula Playtime Mixed (RRP £2.40 for 75 seeds), Dianthus Hollandia Mix (RRP £2.15 for 100 seeds), Nasturtium Bloody Mary (RRP £2.40 for 25 seeds), Nicotiana Starlight Dancer (RRP £2.40 for 100 seeds), Zinnia Choice Mixed (RRP £2.40 for 75 seeds) and Lambs Lettuce Vision (RRP £2.15 for 500 seeds).

Year of the Rudbeckia and Cucumber Launched for Mr Fothergill’s by Sally van der Horst of Fleuroselect

August 16th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds were delighted to welcome Sally van der Horst, Secretary General of Fleuroselect, as the keynote speaker at the August Open Day for the gardening press at their Kentford trial grounds, where over 2,000 seed lots are tested annually. She was delighted to be part of the Suffolk company’s launch of the plant of the year campaigns for 2020 – Rudbeckia and Cucumber.

Sally van der Horst of Fleuroselect speaking at the Mr Fothergill's Press Day 2019

Sally explained the role of Fleuroselect, who will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year, as the international organisation which represents breeders and producers of the starting material for pot and bedding plants, both seed and cuttings. Through a system of European trials, varieties are assessed for those which specifically show excellence in breeding which could then become Fleuroselect Gold Medal winners and FleuroStar winners.

Sally explained that UK companies had been at the core of Fleuroselect since its creation in the 1970’s which is a role Mr Fothergills had been pleased to continue. She commented “the youthful Mr. Fothergill’s joined Fleuroselect after they set up business and have been a proud and positive supporter ever since. They are part of the group of companies within Fleuroselect who focus on supplying the Home Garden Market. Filling and selling seed packets accounts for most of their main business and I am sure if you look at their assortment there are many wonderful varieties that have received a Fleuroselect Gold Medal.”

Sally continued to praise Mr Fothergills by saying: “Our Home Garden group has not sat still. Just over 10 years ago we got together to look at how we could talk to each other and better share ideas on a Pan-European scale. Mr. Fothergill’s has been on the organising committee for that from the start, now through our great friend and supporter, Commercial Director, Tim Jeffries.”

The Home Garden Group developed a Plant of the Year campaign to promote one crop each year in both flowers and vegetables that is suitable for Hobby Gardeners starting first with the Sunflower which was supported by a spectacular display at RHS Wisley of over 180 varieties. Not only was the trial a delight for the public, who had the opportunity to vote for their favourite, but there were visitors from breeding companies from all over Europe and even Japan paying a visit.

From displays at one successful location at Wisley, there are now displays in Ireland, France and Germany. 2019 is the year of the Nasturtium and the Carrot and we have Nasturtium trials at RHS Harlow Carr and Hyde Hall as well as the Jardins des Plantes in Paris, Ega Park in Erfurt, Teagasc, Ashtown Food Research Centre in Dublin and the spectacular Blumeninsel Mainau on Lake Constance. We look forward to similar displays in 2020 for rudbeckia and cucumbers.

Sally explained the rationale behind the campaigns “We believe that the campaign highlights the diversity in each species, and we hope that gardeners will branch out and try some of the newer varieties. We use children in the photography as we have high hopes that it will encourage them to develop and maintain pleasure in gardening. You can’t start young enough.”

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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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.

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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