Press Day at Mr Fothergill's

One of the highlights of my gardening year is always the Mr Fothergill's Press Day.  This family run company invite a selection of press and media people to visit their trial grounds, to learn about the new additions to their range; I always feel very lucky to be invited.

On the day of the event it was due to reach a hot sunny 29 deg, which was small beer compared to the days to come which went on to reach pushing 34 deg.  This meant I went slathered in factor 50 sun block, had my trusty sun hat with me and plenty of water to keep me hydrated. 

This is a real trial ground, not a pretend one for show.  We all know that this year has been incredibly challenging weather-wise and Mr F's sweetpeas resemble closely my own:  rather short but doing their best.  I always find it heartening when people who really know how to garden are struggling with the conditions too.  It makes me feel not quiet so inadequate.
Most of the garden, unlike my garden in this drought, was looking wonderful.  I admired the sweetcorn which must be loving this warm weather.
The dahlias were soaking up the sun too.
My courgettes are drought-starved stumps, so I admired these ones greatly.
Look at this wonderful Amaranthus 'Pygmy Torch'.  I really need to grow Amaranthus as I always admire it.

This Helicrysum from a dwarf mix also caught my eye.   It is the colour of varnished marmalade.
I always seem to spend overlong admiring stripy aubergines.
and this is when I understand why it is also known as the egg plant.
and very excitingly this year they have grown a horse!  Ok, Mr Fothergill's did not grow this horse.  This is a very fine Suffolk Punch from the Suffolk Punch Trust which is a stud and heritage centre based in Suffolk.  The Suffolk Punch is the oldest English breed of working horse and this centre aims to educate and keep the breed going.  They also have a heritage garden which is made up of plants with a Suffolk connection, either bred by people from Suffolk or named after parts of Suffolk or generally has a link with the county.  They were awarded 'County Collection' status by Plant Heritage and central to the development of this garden was Miggie Wylie, after whom Mr Fothergill's are launching a sweetpea with the same name.  
25p from each packet sold will go to the Suffolk Punch Trust.  I am looking forward to growing these very much.
As well as a lovely lunch we also get given a goody bag with a selection of seeds inside and I always love seeing what new things I will be growing next year.

A huge thank you to everyone at Mr Fothergill's for such a lovely day.  The sun shone, I caught up with lots of people I had not seen for ages and came home happily clutching my goody bag.  

Take care and be kind.

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