Posts Tagged ‘Fothergills’

My Morning Glory Story

September 14th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Ipomoea (Morning Glory) 'Party Dress'

My ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glories have been a disaster this year. Not a single flower on any of my plants around the garden. It’s my own fault, I was give a packet of seed from, well, another seed company…. How could I have been so foolish?!

I sowed the seed, I nurtured the plants, I love them so much that I planted them in four different places, I soaked them in the ferocity of the heat – and they’ve grown like mad. But not a single flower. Not one.

Of course, when I visited the Mr F trial ground recently my foolishness was revealed – ‘Heavenly Blue’ was doing great. That’ll teach me. I know whose seed to use next year.

But I also noticed another morning glory, a new one, that Mr F are introducing for next season. It’s called ‘Party Dress’, and you can see what a lovely colour it is. I especially like those electric flashes through the trumpets.

This variety is also a little more tolerant of chilly spring weather than ‘Heavenly Blue’, which is always useful, but it really does grow. I have just the place for it: under a big new elder I’m trialling with huge bold chocolate-coloured leaves. It should make a great support and set off the colour of the morning glory perfectly. And I bet you a million pounds it flowers.

Daffodils with perfume

September 7th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Narcissus 'Actaea'

Many people love daffodils. A few people hate daffodils. But most of us like some daffodils and not others.

I’m a big fan but there are some daffodils that drive me mad. The ones whose trumpets look as if they’ve been hit by a brick, for example, and also the big blowsy yellow ones, like good old ‘King Alfred’ – when they’re planted in the grass along a country lane. They just look so out of place! In a container, or in a clump on a colourful spring border, ‘King Alfred’ looks great. But please, if you want to plant some daffs by your village name sign, choose a variety that looks a little more natural – best of all, our native British wild daffodil.

The other thing about our wild daffodil is that it has a lovely fragrance and that’s a daffodil feature that we tend to forget. Some are scented, some are not. Wouldn’t you choose a fragrant variety if you could? And for a container, where it’s easier to get your nose close to the blooms, or when you want to cut some for the house, fragrance is a huge bonus.

The strongly scented ‘Actaea’ (above) is one of my favourites in pure white with a tiny yellow trumpet edged in red plus a neat white zone between. ‘Geranium’, with its vivid orange cup, is similar. The dainty, and usefully late flowering ‘Hawera’ in primrose yellow is lovely crowding a terracotta pot as is ‘W. P. Milner’, with its straw coloured flowers that fade to white. And all with that lovely daffodil fragrance.

September is planting time, better get those bulbs ordered.

Sweet Pea named in honour of Sir Henry Cecil

August 9th, 2013 | Events, News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil

Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil

A beautiful new sweet pea bred by the world’s leading hybridist and introduced for the 2014 season by Mr Fothergill’s has been named Sir Henry Cecil in honour of Britain’s greatest racehorse trainer, who died earlier this year (2013).   The sweetly scented chocolate flake variety was officially ‘christened’ by Lady Cecil at the Kentford, Newmarket, seed company’s annual press open day in early August.

“We knew Sir Henry loved his flower garden as a form of relaxation from the pressure of training racehorses, and so we were honoured when Lady Cecil agreed to our request to name the new variety in his memory”, said the company’s joint managing director John Fothergill.  “He was also greatly admired and loved not only by the racing community, but by the whole of our home town of Newmarket and beyond”.

Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil was bred in New Zealand by the renowned Dr Keith Hammett and is available exclusively from Mr Fothergill’s.  Such is his reputation that Mr Fothergill’s now puts a special flash on all its sweet pea variety packets bred by him to highlight the fact.  A packet of 20 seeds of Sweet Pea Sir Henry Cecil costs £1.99.

In a training career at Newmarket which spanned more than 40 years, Sir Henry won 3431 races worldwide, 25 British Classic races, had 75 successes at Royal Ascot and won 10 trainers’ titles.  Of the many top-class horses he trained the most famous is Frankel, which won 14 races and retired unbeaten in 2012.