Posts Tagged ‘prairie sun’

Sunshine in the rain

August 16th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Rudbeckia Display at Mr Fothergill's

This week, on a day of biblical rain, a large group of the country’s garden writers and photographers and garden radio and TV personalities gathered at the Mr Fothergill’s trial ground in Suffolk.

The idea was to see this year’s new varieties, the potential new varieties for next year and beyond and just about every single variety of flowers and veg in the Mr F range – all growing in tough conditions, with absolutely no pampering.

We stood under our new Mr F fluorescent lime green umbrellas and watched the cornflowers sag down under the onslaught from the heavens. And this is where it got interesting. Nothing, except climbers and a few tall dahlias, was supported and while the direct sown cornflowers fell right over and the annual poppies hung their dripping heads, the direct sown larkspur nearby stood tall and beautiful, in particular the lovely blue-and-white ‘Frosted Skies’. This is the sort of performance that might tempt the powers that be to add it to the range.

The dahlias also shook off the rain impressively but the beat-the-rain stars of the day were the rudbeckias. A spectacular display was the central focus of this year’s planting and, as I stood there with the rain battering on my umbrella and my feet getting muddier by the moment, one or two of them leaned a little.

But they stood firm and created such a sparkle that under the charcoal clouds they were impressive from fifty yards away. And the star of them all was ‘Prairie Sun’ (across the top in the picture) its green eye surrounded by two-tone yellow petals.

A soon as the forecast looks better, I’ll be heading back to the trials on a more comfortable day to bring you more highlights from this year’s trials. And there are some very exciting new varieties to tell you about.