Posts Tagged ‘press release’

Zinnias take their place in the sun as Mr Fothergill’s celebrates 2017

November 7th, 2016 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Zinnias have been the subject of much breeding work in recent years and, as a result, are now more widely grown than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Their importance is being acknowledged by 2017 being declared ‘Year of the Zinnia’ by Fleuroselect, the organisation which trials and assesses new seed varieties from around the world to determine their suitability for European conditions. Mr Fothergill’s is celebrating the initiative with the introduction to its mail order catalogue and website a new formula mixture.

ZinniasBritish-bred Zinnia Solmar Mixed F1 will create a stunning display in pots, containers or garden borders. The beautiful, large flower heads last well with good heat and drought tolerance, and excellent disease resistance. This delightful annual needs little maintenance to put on an eye-catching display. The mature plants have a height of 45-60cm (18-24 in). A packet of 20 seeds costs £3.99.

New to both Mr Fothergill’s mail order and retail ranges is Zinnia Sombrero, which produces lots of single-flowered, red and white, jam tart-like blooms for many weeks through summer and into autumn. Plants reach around 35cm (14in) tall. A packet of seeds sufficient for 50 plants of Sombrero costs £2.35.

You can see Mr Fothergill’s range here or click here to request a catalogue .

Mr Fothergill’s is full of beans as we celebrate them in 2017

October 21st, 2016 | News | 0 Comments

Celebrate beans Mr Fothergill’s 2017 seed catalogue features several new bean varieties, as we support the pan-European Year of the Bean initiative in the hope of encouraging gardeners to grow more of these tasty vegetables in 2017. Exclusive new runner bean Aurora is unique in being both pink flowered and producing self-setting pods. It is British-bred and produces an abundant crop of usually stringless, succulent pods whether conditions are cool or hot and dry in our unpredictable summers. A packet of 45 seeds costs £3.35.

Broad bean Eleonora is offered as organic seed. These beans, often five per pod, are both juicy and very tasty, and are recommended by all staff who have taken home pods grown on our Newmarket trial ground. Fast growing and not too tall, Eleonora is a good choice for windy sites. A packet of 45 seeds cost £3.35. Reintroduced dwarf bean Coco Noir Starazagorski can be eaten young as sliced green beans or left to mature and the black beans shelled as haricots. Ten seeds cost £3.35.

Celebrate beansThree other new and exclusive beans are offered both via mail order and from retail stockists of Mr Fothergill’s throughout the UK. Exclusive runner bean Guinness Record could be well-named. This exhibition-quality runner bean produces large crops of very long, smooth, tasty, slender pods up to 45cm (18in) from July to October. The vigorous, red-flowered plants are resistant to all bean viruses. A packet of 45 seeds costs £3.25.

Runner Bean Snowdrift is a white-flowered variety specially bred to yield large crops of succulent beans. White-flowered beans are often less prone to bird attack than scarlet-flowered ones. Pods set reliably in cold or hot and dry conditions, helping to ensure a good harvest. A packet of 40 seeds of Snowdrift costs £3.25. Also exclusively from Mr Fothergill’s comes pencil-podded climbing bean Python. Its uniform, succulent pods, up to 15cm (6in) long, are produced abundantly through a long summer cropping season and into autumn. A packet of 50 seeds costs £3.25.

For more information on Mr Fothergill’s range, or to request a catalogue please visit the Mr Fothergills site.

Mr Fothergill’s award winner Sarah plans a new career in horticulture

August 30th, 2016 | News | 0 Comments

Award winner SarahCapel Manor College’s horticultural student Sarah Ruggeri is the 2016 winner of Mr Fothergill’s Award for the student who has demonstrated the highest skills in plant care and propagation. She was recently presented with a commemorative shield and a bursary of £500 by the company’s joint-managing director John Fothergill.

“Sarah has faced a great deal of personal challenges this year, but she has been determined to achieve this qualification. Her work is always to distinction standard, on time and with a flair for detail and creativity, especially in relation to propagation and growing plants in the protected environment. Sarah naturally helps other students within the group and is often the first to respond to queries and always gives generously with information to help” says Sarah Seery, head of horticulture at Capel.

Sarah Ruggeri worked in the City for 20 years before deciding on a career change. She says “I did a couple of short courses first, a gardening course and a floristry course, and it was the gardening one that had me truly hooked. It’s always something I’ve loved and I’m always outside in my own garden, but I hadn’t really considered it as a career before. I then went on to do the Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture covering the Amenities, Crops and Hard landscaping units. It was hard work, but I loved it and thankfully passed with a distinction. I’m now looking to find work, ideally with a garden maintenance firm”.

Capel Manor is the largest land-based college in Greater London, offering a range of nationally accredited courses and apprenticeships and with six centres across Greater London; they are within reach of anyone with a passion for the great outdoors. Subjects offered include horticulture, arboriculture, countryside management, environmental conservation, floristry, garden design, and landscaping. For more details of courses at Capel, visit

For more information on Mr Fothergill’s range, or to request a catalogue, please visit, telephone 0845 371 0518 or write to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB.

Mr Fothergill’s new weather station to provide worthwhile data on trials

August 25th, 2016 | News | 0 Comments

weather stationMr Fothergill’s has installed a state-of-the-art weather station on its Kentford, west Suffolk, trial ground, which it believes will provide a database of useful information relating to the scores of genera and species it grows every year. The station has been providing information to the company’s horticultural team since April 2016. The system measures temperature, humidity, dew-point, wind direction, speed and chill factor; it includes a barometer, a record of daily rainfall, rain rate and storm total. It also states sunrise and sunset time.

It comprises two pieces of kit – the actual physical weather station and a console connected to a computer, and with benefit of batteries in the console, data will continue to be collected even during a power-cut. The apparatus collects data at regular intervals and a database of all previous months’ weather means all aspects and their impact on the trial ground can be monitored. The plan is to build data over time to check the performance of different genera and species in different conditions.

For instance, in May 2016 temperatures ranged from -0.6ºC to 25.6ºC, and two very notable issues have already been highlighted. The first is the amount of rainfall, which for a relatively dry site has been surprising. Up until 2 August 2016 the site has received 191.6mm, of which 94.6mm fell in June, with 37.8mm falling on the 23rd alone; on 20 June the rain rate was more than 180mm per hour.

Equally remarkable are the fluctuations in temperature in July, with the lowest 8.9ºC and the highest 30.3ºC, which is also the highest so far in 2016. In July there were three nights when the temperature dipped below 10ºC, when the cucumber trial in the polytunnel clearly showed which varieties had the best cold tolerance. Overall mean temperature through the months has been recorded, with April 6.9ºC, May 12.8ºC, June 15.2ºC, and July 18.1ºC. Trial ground manager Brian Talman believes the cooler weather in late spring kept plants back for a several weeks, but, fortunately, July has put them back on track for a good display in August.

For more information on Mr Fothergill’s range, or to request a catalogue, please visit, telephone 0845 371 0518 or write to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB.

weather station

Mr Fothergill’s supports hospice gardens with launch of new sweet pea Greenfingers

August 19th, 2016 | News | 0 Comments











Mr Fothergill’s has pledged its support for Greenfingers (, the charity dedicated to creating magical gardens for children’s hospices, by naming a brand-new sweet pea after it for the 2017 season. Sweet pea Greenfingers has an old-fashioned grandiflora flower form and the strong, memorable scent associated with those types in their Victorian heyday; its blooms are a rich cream with a delicate wire rim or picotée of pale violet. The climber is well suited to both garden display and as a cut flower, when its fragrance fills a room.

Mr Fothergill’s Tim Jeffries has pledged 25p to Greenfingers for every packet of 20 seeds priced at £2.45 the Suffolk seedsman sells through its retailers, mail order catalogue and website during the 2016/17 gardening season. Announcing the initiative, Tim commented “We are delighted to support such a worthwhile charity and a cause close to so many hearts. By launching sweet pea Greenfingers, we hope we can raise the charity’s profile with our customers, Britain’s gardeners and the garden trade”.

Head of fundraising at Greenfingers Linda Petrons officially named sweet pea Greenfingers at Mr Fothergill’s annual trial grounds open day for the gardening media in mid August. She said “We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Mr Fothergill’s for this thoughtful gesture, which we hope will not only make more people aware of the work we do, but will also raise vital funds to help us continue creating magical and inspiring gardens for children who spend time in hospices right across the UK”.

For more information on Mr Fothergill’s 2017 range, please visit the Mr Fothergills website.