Open days full to the brim with latest introductions

Mr Fothergill's seed trials completed the round of open days for journalists at Britain's new plant developers this summer with the feeling from some that there may be too many new introductions for the public to cope with.

Mr Fothergill's will launch four catalogues in the next month, following similar production from rivals including Thompson & Morgan, Suttons and Unwins, which altogether feature hundreds of plant launches this season.

Garden writer Peter Seabrook said: "It's a full-time job for me to try to keep abreast of the hundreds of novelties coming through each year. We might be better off without three-quarters of them because then we could promote the really good things that much more strongly."

But BBC Gardeners' World magazine editor Adam Pasco said: "There can never be too many of the right things. You are always looking for improvements in existing varieties or something absolutely new. They're the lifeblood of gardeners' hobby. We have to keep them excited by innovation."

Mr Fothergill's product development co-ordinator Pim Dickson said: "If you're the kind of gardener who wants new varieties there's never going to be enough. And on the veg side, hybrids, for instance, are starting to deal with pests and diseases, and heat and wet caused by climate change."

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