Posts Tagged ‘nation of gardeners’

The Nation of Gardeners are planting out and growing is underway

November 8th, 2013 | Nation of Gardeners, News, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Sixteen enthusiastic amateur gardeners representing all the UK mainland regions are busily toiling away helping create the first growing map of the country as part of Mr Fothergill’s Nation of Gardeners campaign.

Nation of Gardeners Pontypridd October Broad BeansThey are being sent monthly parcels of flower, fruit and vegetable seeds, plants and bulbs and reporting on how they are growing, eventually helping produce a regularly updated map of mainland Britain showing what is growing where and when.  With Britain’s changing weather conditions the map will become an essential tool for gardeners and garden centres, enabling them to plan their activities more accurately.

In October, the Nation of Gardeners group received their first parcel, which was broad beans, sweet peas and garlic.   The first green shoots of spring 2014 were spotted quickly by the group.  From as far afield as Glasgow, Buckinghamshire, Staffordshire and Devon members reported signs of broad bean growth within a few days of planting.

“We asked them to plant everything around the same date across the country so that we can monitor progress in the various areas,” says John Fothergill.  “Members communicate via social media, giving regular updates on how the plants and seeds are performing.  We will be able to see the true differences between autumn compared to spring planting as the members will be sent the same broad beans, sweet peas and garlic again in the spring.”

“Already we have seen fascinating differences from the group with different approaches to sowing sweet peas.  This has prompted us to examine how seeds should be treated before sowing. What gets the best results; soaking, chipping, pouring on boiling water or just leaving it to nature?” says commercial director Tim Jeffries.

To follow the Nation of Gardeners progress, follow the hashtag #nationofgardeners on Facebook and Twitter

Grown in October were the following varieties:

The Search is on for Mr Fothergill’s Nation of Gardeners

August 6th, 2013 | Competitions, Nation of Gardeners, News, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

A nationwide search is on to find twelve amateur gardeners who will collectively become Mr Fothergill’s Nation of Gardeners, forming a UK wide chain so we all know what is happening in gardens across the country at any given time.

Armeria and chives in the garden

People who are very enthusiastic amateur gardeners – flowers, vegetables or both – can apply to join Mr Fothergill’s trusted band.   Once selected they will feature on monthly online social media activity and on a special gardeners’ calendar that the seed company will organise.

John Fothergill, joint managing director of Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Limited, the UK’s largest domestic seed company, wants to recruit one gardener from each of the mainland regions in the UK.

“There is a very serious side to this campaign,” John explains.  “With changing weather patterns gardeners need an indication of what their counterparts are actually doing in other parts of the country.   The temperature change between the south west and, for example, North Wales or the Scottish Highlands, has always been well known.  But now these differentials are often exaggerated by the significant shift in weather patterns that we are all experiencing.”

Carrot seedlings just coming through

The company wants to hear from gardeners across the UK who would be willing to kick start the project by attending a meeting at the head office in Suffolk and then go back to their gardens and keep the company informed of what is happening on their plots.

Each gardener will regularly be issued with identical Mr Fothergill’s seeds, bulbs and plants throughout the year.   They will send in regular email reports on their progress.  Debbie Porter, the company’s social media manager, will coordinate all these activity reports and produce regular summaries of what is happening in different parts of the country, accurately charting the time differentials.

“This will be a really useful tool for both gardeners and garden centres,” says John Fothergill.  “Time differences in growing patterns for flowers and fruit and vegetables can be plotted across the country and, over time, this will become a valuable tool in being able to plan planting and harvesting activity.”

How to enter

To become one of the Nation of Gardeners simply answer the following questions and email your reply to before the 31st August 2013.

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Which social media channels do you regularly use?
  • Do you have the use of a digital camera?
  • Tell me about your garden, it location, size, do you grow from seed, what you grow and any other interesting facts and information?  Do you, for example, have a greenhouse?
  • Tell me in one sentence why you want to become part of Mr Fothergill’s Nation of Gardeners.
  • Please attach a photograph of yourself in your garden.