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July 29, 2011

Interested in Gardening? Like some seeds?

by Val Reynolds
Gazania Tiger Stripes

Gazania Tiger Stripes

I attended the annual Thompson & Morgan press event this week when we were shown 33 new flower seeds, 54 new vegetable seed introductions, many new young plants – including a massively flowered dahlia ideal for both borders and patio pots – and fruit plants … 2012 is going to be a great year!

I was impressed by the vegetable planting in containers, it’s amazing what they have grown in pouches – imagine a full grown courgette plant hanging on a wall or a post! Dwarf beans, the list goes on and all so easy to harvest. You can have a kitchen garden on your patio! There were good frame supports for patio containers so you could grow peas, mangetout, beans, whatever … Very exciting.

Growing beans in a pouch!

Growing beans in a pouch!

We were given numerous packets of seeds of the new introductions and as I have many duplicates I am happy to send them to our readers free of charge. Just send a stamped addressed envelope to

In Balance Magazine, 50 Parkway, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 6HH

with either Veg or Flower, or both if you would like either, written on the back and we’ll forward them on a first come first served basis. You’ll have to be quick though!

Here are just some of the new flower and vegetable seeds that caught my eye and I will be trying next year. They will all be available online from September and in the Thompson & Morgan 2012 Autumn catalogue.

Lettuce Lettony – a ball of a lettuce, mildew resistant, sweet tasting
Herb Basil Crimson King, special trial price 99p a packet
Cucumber Crystal Apple – incredible taste, golfball size, absolutely no bitterness
Swiss Chard Fantasy F1 Hybrid – excellent taste, spring and summer harvesting
Tomato Bajaja – this is prolific plant, capable of producing up to 700 fruits! Small juicy red fruit 8-10 grams in weight No sideshoots Broad bean de Monica – looked fab and gives high yield
Courgette Sunstripe F1 Hybrid, eager to try this, has a good pedigree
Dwarf french bean Laguna – a new one to try, we love these beans

Calendula Fruit Twist

Calendula Fruit Twist

Calendula Fruit Twist – a range of citrus colours
Hollyhock Halo Mixed good against a wall
Poppy Pink Fizz – this is so pretty with its frilled petals and seeds are edible

Chrysanthemum Polar Star – strikingly attractive
Californian Poppy Peach Sorbet – gorgeous

Phlox Moody Blues

Phlox Moody Blues

Phlox Moody Blues – this will be a good filler for the borders

Some of the plants available include two really stunning verbascums, blue lagoon and Clementine – a gold blossom, they will look fabulous together. Do explore the plants T&M offer, there will be some real stunners for next year.

And the fruit … We were knocked out by the apricot and patio trees, and dare I say a new strawberry – Sweetheart. I tasted the fruit – excellent … Will have to have some of those. And the raspberry Valentina – unusual apricot pink coloured – heavy cropper,  upright canes, virtually spinefree, again must have some!

If you are keen on gardening and want some inspiration do try to get to the Open Days this weekend – open 10 to 4pm both Saturday and Sunday – I’m certain you will not be disappointed.

Val Reynolds Brown Editor is the website we write about the ongoing renovation and care of a front garden in a garden city

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