Thompson & Morgan’s New Product Development Manager Michael Perry takes a look at some ways to reach new heights in the garden.
With modern gardens becoming smaller and smaller, it’s time to start building patio and garden displays upwards.
This isn’t a problem with many of the new summer climbers in the marketplace, which will add that extra dimension - and quick! As we all know, we can all get impatient waiting for a new plant to start doing what we want it to, but with summer climbing annuals, you won’t be disappointed, with the beginnings of a glorious display within months - if not weeks.
Thompson & Morgan are leading the way with new and innovative climbing annuals - with perhaps the star of the show for 2011 being the aptly named Geranium ‘Skyrocket’. Thompson & Morgan extensively test and trial any plant we introduce and that’s no different with ‘Skyrocket’™.However, this plant actually started its life as a trailing specimen, but when we noticed it was potentially too long for this, a light bulb turned on in our head - what better thing to do than send those lovely long stems upwards?
The specimen’s especially long internodes (the gap between each leaf joint) mean the trailing stems can reach up to six feet in a season. Once we got ‘Skyrocket’™ on to our climbing frames, we were amazed at the effect. There was a rainbow of neon colours and, like many geraniums, ‘Skyrocket’ proved to be quite drought resistant, meaning a low maintenance summer display.
Of course, the ultimate summer annual compliment to those two favourites is petunias, and once again Thompson & Morgan have the answer. Petunia ‘Tidal Wave’ is a popular plant which certainly lives up to its name. Four bright colours in shades of pink, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea - but it’s worth it for the hundreds of delicately fragrant blooms and astounding speed of growth.
Plants just need a little help to twine through any support frame and the occasional stem may snap, but this isn’t a problem, as two more will usually appear in its place!
Enjoy some more fragrance with sweet peas. Thompson & Morgan now offer ‘Sweet Dreams’, a hand-picked blend of more than 50 high quality varieties with the best colours and the very best fragrance.
Sweet peas have a reputation for being short-lived, but this isn’t true! Pick your blooms regularly and display them indoors and you can enjoy up to 16 weeks of cut flowers. We know, we’ve tried it.
So, what’s the future for summer climbers?
Well, I can say we’re testing a huge range of plants and there’ll be a few more surprises in store.