Mr Fothergill's to make 2013 the year of the sweet pea

Mr Fothergill's Seeds has designated 2013 as year of the sweet pea, with an RHS Chelsea Flower Show Centenary lathyrus leading its new range.

Sweet Pea Chelsea Centenary - Mr Fothergill's
Sweet Pea Chelsea Centenary - Mr Fothergill's

The new range of 25 seed varieties will be availalbe in a dedicated display unit aimed at garden centres, supermarkets and DIY outlets. 

The Suffolk seedsmen see the plant as having potential through breeding by New Zealander Dr Keith Hammett. The pale lavender 'Chelsea Centenary' multiflora costs £1.99 for 20 seeds. Four more exclusives are Blue Vein, Minuet, Serenade and Velvet, all in the Solway series. Pandemonium, a Spencer also bred by Hammett is another new launch.

Mr Fothergill's unveiled the launches at an open day at its Kentford trial grounds on 8 August to launch new ranges for 2013 including Get Growing, a simplified range of 56 seeds, herb pots, starter collection boxes and mini windowsill propagator kits aimed at inexperienced gardeners.

Two Sarah Raven Johnson's ranges, for bees and butterflies and cut flowers are also new. The Little Gardeners range has several  new gift items, including My First Mini Greenhouse and My First Growing Game.

Mr Fothergill's now exports to more than 30 countries and had 25 per cent growth in its mail order-only edibles range DT Brown range this year. But retail sales were down 10 per cent, reflecting a weather-hit market, which was the toughest in 25 years, said general manager Tim Jeffries.

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