Posts Tagged ‘perennials’

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.










First year flowering perennials: prolific penstemons

November 17th, 2017 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Penstemon 'Mixed Colours'

The penstemons raised from seed were so bright on the Mr Fothergill’s trial ground this summer that they caught my eye from the other side of the field. And this from a plant that’s usually grown from cuttings and bought as plants in pots.

They really dazzled but when you look at the price of the seeds and how easy they are to raise you wonder why they’re not grown from seed more often. Five hundred seeds for £2.29, half the price of a single plant in a garden centre, seems like a bargain to me. And, sown inside in March, they’ll flower prolifically in their first year.

The upright 75cm stems carry pairs of glossy leaves topped with large, flared flowers in a very wide range of colours and bicolours and once they start the flowers just keep coming. Best in a sunny spot in rich but well-drained soil, I’ve found that they respond especially well to regular dead heading and I’ve seen dead-headed plants still flowering well at the end of October in their first year after a July start.

Penstemon 'Scarlet Queen'‘Mixed Colours’ is the aptly descriptive name for the variety with the widest range of shades including a lovely pure white, some pretty pink and white bicolours and others with attractive lacing in the throat. If there’s one from the mix that you especially like, it’s easy to propagate it from cuttings in spring or summer. ‘Scarlet Queen’ (right) is the most striking single colour available, in bright red with a contrasting clean white throat.

‘Humming Bells’ is a much shorter blend so ideal for the front of the border or containers and, while the flowers are smaller than those of ‘Mixed Colours’, they’re tightly packed on 20cm stems.

Sowing? March is the ideal time. Give them some heat to start with then keep move the individual seedlings into cells in April and harden off in May before planting out. The plants are quite vigorous and can also be sown in the open ground in May but probably won’t flower till the following year.

But alert your friends: you’ll probably have more than enough young plants to give away.