Yellow pansies and violas most popular as sun shines on Meadowcroft festival

Visitors voted Floranova's Tiger Eye Yellow as most popular plant at WD Smith's pansy and viola festival at Meadowcroft Garden Centre in Essex.

Viola Tiger Eye Yellow - Image: Floranova
Viola Tiger Eye Yellow - Image: Floranova

As director Michael Smith expected, Violas dominated the visitor voting, in which 1,000 customers took part.

Viola Tiger Eye Yellow from Floranova is a veined yellow variety with recently improved performance. Floranova says earlier flowering, much improved plant habit and better seed quality now means this unique colour can be grown alongside mainstream Viola and Pansy crops. 

Viola Deltini Rose Pink from Syngenta was second, Viola Tear Drops Pink Blush from Ball Colegrave was third and Viola Bunny Ears from Thompson & Morgan was fourth.

Smith said: "The festival went really well and we sold more violas and pansies than ever before in that festival time, thanks to the weather being really nice. We always sell out but we sold out quicker than before."

He added that wholesale had gone really well and last week was 20% better than last year, with sales 5-6% up so far on an average year.

Smith said people liked the winner "because people are looking for something different and it is really attractive flowers and I guess stands out from the bunch".

He added: "Yellow sold really well because of the weather. Tiger has been around for years but has got better and better genetics so it is at the point now where I could grow the crop commercially."

However, he said it doesn’t fit in with his other lines as it is difficult to schedule being slower than other plants.

He grows the Rose Pink commercially, probably will add Tear Drops and will try Bunny Ears and Tiger Eye as festival favourite plants.


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