Having spent much of my working life at Thompson and Morgan, the largest mail order plant company in the UK, I couldn’t help but go total plant geek when I received their latest catalogue. It was a particularly poignant moment, as the catalogue includes some of the varieties that I was working on prior to my departure.
In this article, I have picked out 5 of the coolest plants from this new range, and there’s everything from pretty Petunias to handsome Hydrangea! But, believe me, there’s actually more than just 5, so there’ll be a part 2 for sure!
ONE. Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’. What a corker! Quite rightly a past winner of RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year, Japanese-bred ‘Miss Saori’ has pretty two-tiered blooms with lipstick-smudged edges. The compact size means that- in the garden- it’s a manageable plant, and not a beast. It also looks super cool in patio containers. So, if you thought you hated Hydrangea, then you need to think again (I hope Madonna is reading, she is infamous for hating the poor things!)
TWO. Petunia ‘Queen of Hearts’. It’s all in the detail when it comes to this Petunia! Twirl the bloom around between your fingers and you’ll find a red love heart at the tip of each petal. The vibrant colours of this variety mean it’s likely to be the ‘most grown petunia of 2017’, in the same way that ‘Night Sky’ was the poster boy in 2016! Despite the silky blooms, it’s remarkably weather-resistant too, and pretty much covers all it’s foliage with flower!
THREE. Calendula ‘Snow Princess’. I cannot recommend this English Marigold enough, not just for the creamy-white colour, but also because it’s so damn easy to grow! Calendula are hardy annuals and the seed can be scattered straight outside where you want them to flower. The perfect choice for lazy gardeners. ‘Snow Princess’ was a breeding breakthrough too, being the first type with such pure almost-white petals.
FOUR. Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’. Here’s another annual which can be sown directly outdoors. Cosmos ‘Cupcakes’ actually originates from a home garden in America, and Thompson & Morgan’s breeders took 10 years or so to get it just right. It was the first time any Cosmos had just 1 petal, instead of 5! A superb feature for cottage gardens and bedding, or even pots, thanks to it’s compact, branching pose. Pointless fact: held the right way up, the bloom looks like a cupcake. Turn the bloom upside down and you have a fun jellyfish.
FIVE. Delphinium ‘Flamenco’. This ain’t your regular Delphinium! ‘Flamenco’ is a plant I am utterly obsessed with; it’s a hardy perennial, it’s short and branching, and the flowers have like 3 layers of petals. The plant is entirely wind-proof, thanks to it’s short size and the pompon flowers that don’t just disintegrate in the wind. Make space for this plant in your garden. Now, that’s an order. Order yours now.
So, that’s just 5 of my favourites from the new range at Thompson & Morgan. Watch this space for future articles…!