Thrive launch sweet pea

Thrive's charity sweet pea 'Eleanore Udall' is now for sale on the website for £2.99.

Created for Thrive by Thompson & Morgan, this new form with graduated pink petals and scent is named after the late wife of the Rev. Dr Geoffrey Udall who bequeathed Thrive his Beech Hill estate near Reading, Berkshire where the charity now has its head office and gardens.


Thompson & Morgan aims to raise £10,000 for Thrive through sales of this exclusive sweet pea and other fundraising events. Thrive is the charity in the UK that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable - social and therapeutic horticulture.

Over the summer Thrive ran a competition to find a name for the sweet pea and Eleanore Udall was chosen by Fiona Foote from Andover.

She said: "I think it would be the most wonderful tribute to name the sweet pea Eleanore Udall after the late wife of the late Geoffrey Udall who was responsible for providing the garden and facilities for what started life as The Society for Horticultural Therapy, in the 1970s.  

"My mother, the late Mrs Hilda Foa who lived at The Old Vicarage, in Beech Hill, was very involved in the start of this amazing charity, together with many other hard working people, including Mrs Mary Bayliss who has recently stepped down as Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

"Eleanore was a very kind, gentle person and she and Geoff (as he was always known) were a very philanthrophic couple, quietly but generously donating time and money to all sorts of causes.  

"Sadly she pre-deceased him, and when he had retired from being a paediatrician in London, he became ordained.  Trunkwell House had been his family home and his sister Gytha also lived in the village, on the road towards Mortimer, and he and Eleanore lived in Trunkwell Lodge. 

"They had no children of their own but were full of kindness and took great interest in those of their family and neighbours.

"There will be very few people around now who remember Eleanore, as I do from my childhood, but I think it would be a very fitting memorial to the marvellous legacy that has been left by both of them, the success of which would amaze them both!"

Thrive chief executive Kathryn Rossiter, said: "What a wonderful name for this very pretty sweet pea and such a fitting tribute.

"I hope our supporters and friends will buy lots of packets of sweet pea Eleanore Udall and we look forward to seeing pictures of the sweet peas in bloom.

"We will be selling packets of sweet peas at Thrive via our website, at our regional centres in London, Birmingham and Gateshead and through our various local outlets with 100 per cent profits coming back to us. Please do buy as many packets as you can! 

"We would also like to thank Thompson & Morgan for choosing Thrive as their Charity of the year in 2016."

Thompson & Morgan horticultural director Paul Hansord said: "We know through social media that the therapeutic qualities of gardening are widely understood by many of our customers.


"We’ve seen how sowing a packet of seeds and growing the plants through the season can go a long way in helping improve both physical and mental health. Thrive does some amazing work in this area and we’re keen to help raise awareness and vital funds for such a good cause.

"Donating a sweet pea variety to the charity makes sense. They are easy to grow and produce impressive results no matter your skill level – anyone can grow them.


"They can also be sown from January to April and again from September to November, providing us with two long sales windows to maximise income for Thrive. Anyone who likes sweet peas should add ‘Eleanore Udall’ to their sowing list for 2016."


Alongside this Thompson & Morgan is also supplying over £1,000 of flower and vegetable seeds to be grown at the charity’s three garden project sites at Gateshead, Reading and London’s Battersea Park. This will help provide learning opportunities and the prospect of charity income from the sale of plants grown from these seeds.


Thompson & Morgan is also donating 2,400 litres of incredicompost for use in the planting displays, plus all the incredibloom fertiliser needed for a bumper season of colour and produce.



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