Monday, 9 April 2012

The Trial 1

A couple of months ago, responding to a message on twitter, I was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in plant trials for Thompson and Morgan.  I had no idea what this would entail at the time, but was really pleased to be asked to take part.  A couple of weeks later I received an email from a nice lady called Wendy listing the plants/seeds/etc I was going to receive.  My chin nearly hit the keyboard, so much stuff!  I was then very excited as I waited for the items to arrive.
For the past couple of weeks it has been a bit like christmas nearly every day.  Parcel and parcel has arrived.  My son looked at me a little askance as if I was buying plants on an even more mad scale than usual.  I explained this was all stuff for the trial.

I had to wait a couple of weeks before starting to sow any seeds.  On the 24th March I sowed the Rosa Garden Party, Gazania New Day Mix and Streptocarpus x hybridus.  I also sowed the cucumber.  Now I need to say now that the trial is a trial in more than one way.  I have duly sown the cucumber and they are now germinating.  I can't stand cucumber and it will not get eaten in my house, so when it has fruited I will have to give it away to family/friends to find out if it is tasty or not.  The Gazania is germinating well as well, I am more pleased about that.
Another part of the trial that is a bit taxing for me was the arrival of the hanging baskets.  I am not a fan of hanging baskets and I have no where to hang them from.  I have six of them to make use of.  Now I entered into this trial so I have to see it through properly.  So far I have planted up one of the baskets but I am not saying what with yet, as I am actually quite excited about what I decided to do with it and think it will look amazing.  It is germinating already so that is good.  I am not going to mention that I dropped the dratted thing on the floor and spilled compost everywhere, no no no, I am not going to mention that!

The mixed dianthus are looking really good.  Buds on a few plants and one already in flower.
 I am quite a fan of dianthus so I am very pleased with these.

Next to arrive a mini-greenhouse and a long cloche.  The cloche will be used to cover the lettuce seeds when I sow them next week.  I have held off sowing because of the recent frosts.  (I shall be looking for lettuce tasters too).  The mini greenhouse will be erected, maybe this weekend if I can, again the rain, wind and frost made me hold off.
 So, back to the trial elements of the trial.  I am now the owner of 48 trailing petunias (I am not a fan) and Begonia Apricot Shades.  I have to say now - apricot!  apricot!  no, not a colour I usually have in the garden.  But they are growing on in the greenhouse and they will find their way into a hanging basket at some point.  (I might give them to my mother, she likes hanging baskets and I can still keep an eye on them).
 Sadly though the recent frost seems to have hit a couple of the begonias.
Next package sent me straight to the internet to look up what it was.  2 x Pleione Tongariro.  They look quite nice and are now settled in the conservatory.
Then the 15 Geranium Saxonia Red arrived.  They are now potted up in terracotta pots ready to put out when the frosts are over.  I am looking forward to them flowering.  Also 9 lily lankon arrived, they too are in some rather fine pots and will probably end up by the front door.  Finally some water lilies arrived: red, white and blue.  They are in the pond and I hope they will be ok.  (I have confession about them, but that will be for a follow up post).

Finally for now, finally, this......
 Really?  now that is a trial


I remain incredibly grateful to Michael Perry and Thompson and Morgan for letting me take part in this trial.  Even the plants I am not keen on I will grow properly and try my best with, who knows, they might convert me.  I shall blog more as the trial progresses.

5 comments :

  1. Wow, what fun!

    Every day must feel like a birthday.

    Keep it up!

    What is the record keeping responsibility like?

    *jealouses quietly*

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  2. It is great fun and I think that maybe growing the stuff I am not keen on will be more fun an the usual stuff I have. It forces me to think differently.

    I am a fairly careful record keeper anyway, so I'm just having to remember to put T&M on my notes so I can quickly see which bits are trial plants.

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  3. What a lot you got! Great to see that T&M and fate picked someone who's doing such a grand job :)

    I mused about not 'liking' certain plants a while ago and came to the conclusion it's often because we've not found the right one of that type yet. Here's hoping some of your bumper spoils become firm favourites.

    I have 3 tomatoes to trial - keeping them alive until it's warm enough to plant them outside is proving rather tricky!

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  4. Thanks for your kind words. I agree, it wrong to dismiss a whole set of plants, I usually can find one that I like.

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  5. How lovely to get so many plants for free! I'll be interested to read how the trials progress.

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