Mr Fothergill’s trailing petunias

You’ll love Amore Queen of Hearts

Petunia Amore Queen of Hearts. Picture; Mr. Fothergill’s

Like petunias? Then you’ll love three new trailing varieties in Mr. Fothergill’s Spring Planting Flowers, Fruit and Vegetable 2017 catalogue.

They were chosen not only for their unique colour combinations and length of flowering but also for their remarkable ability to continue flowering unscathed even during spells of heavy rain.

Perfect for hanging baskets, Amore Queen of Hearts has masses of bicolour blooms of yellow and rosy red.

East Anglian-bred Designer Buzz Purple has large, bright flowers with a contrasting lime green edge and a darker centre, while Designer Ink Splash has large violet heads, each with a soft, central white star and contrasting white picotée. Continue reading “Mr Fothergill’s trailing petunias”

RHS Chelsea Flower Show Artisan and Fresh Gardens

2017’s Smaller, ‘unconventional’ gardens revealed

Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Centenary Garden, David Domoney
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Centenary Garden, David Domoney

The Artisan and Fresh Gardens have been announced for this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, offering a different take on the larger Show Gardens.

If you’re not sure what these are, Fresh Gardens are supposed to be ‘though-provoking, unconventional and exciting’, according to the RHS website.

In practice, these gardens are often design over substance, in my opinion, although judging by this year’s artist’s impressions, they look much more to my taste. Continue reading “RHS Chelsea Flower Show Artisan and Fresh Gardens”

Salmonberries from Lubera

Raspberry relatives with great flowers

The oddly-named salmonberry is a brilliant way for those with small gardens to grow a decent fruit crop while not compromising on flowers and good looks.

Related to the raspberry, these North American berries are a fantastic way for beginners to grow decorative fruit in their garden. Continue reading “Salmonberries from Lubera”

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 preview

Show gardens unveiled

RHS Greening Grey Britain garden
RHS Greening Grey Britain garden. Nigel Dunnett

The show gardens have been unveiled at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, always the most anticipated features of the event.

The nine gardens, along with the RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden, will be joined by nine artisan gardens, five fresh gardens, and more than 100 floral displays at the show, which runs from 23-27 May, sponsored by M&G Investments.
Continue reading “RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 preview”

Vegetable shortages – eat seasonally!

Cut veg air miles and eat our own growers’ winter produce

Monster last Cavili courgette of the year

While I’m not missing courgettes and lettuce in February, it appears shortages of imported vegetables from Spain and Italy due to bad weather are causing consternation among the chattering classes.

I’m all for DT Brown’s advice to rely more on seasonal produce and stored home-grown vegetables – give me Continue reading “Vegetable shortages – eat seasonally!”

Colourful veg stars at Mr. Fothergill’s

From purple radishes to yellow chillies

radish viola
Cover star radish Viola. Picture; Mr. Fothergill’s

It seems Mr. Fothergill’s is going through a purple patch if customers are anything to go buy – they voted radish Viola as the cover star of the 2017 seed catalogue.

The radish’s large, crisp roots are violet-skinned and have crisp, tasty flesh which doesn’t bolt or split and is ready for lifting 36-40 days after sowing. A packet of 250 seeds costs £2.19. Their strong tops make pulling them easy, too.

Second-placed Zinnia Solmar Mixed F1 is an early flowering mix with large flower heads that last well and have good heat and drought tolerance, plus excellent disease resistance. A packet of 20 seeds costs £3.99. Continue reading “Colourful veg stars at Mr. Fothergill’s”

Johnsons top-selling cut flowers

Best-selling blooms of 2016

sunflower giant singleIt’s a growing trend to cultivate flowers in a bed solely for cutting, much as our grandparents did on allotments with dahlias, chrysanthemums and the like but with an emphasis on cottage garden blooms.

Seedsmen Johnsons have unveiled their top 10 best-selling flowers last year, which included two sunflowers, two sweet peas, a cornflower and a cosmos.

The overall best-seller was Sunny Giant sunflowers from the Little Gardeners range for children, while sunflower Giant Single was in second place. Continue reading “Johnsons top-selling cut flowers”