New Varieties

Thompson & Morgan named sweet pea Grandiflora 'Heirloom Bicolour Mixed' and runner bean 'St George' as flower and vegetable of the year 2010.

'Heirloom Bicolour Mixed' is a fragrant mix with a sweet scent. It makes an easy-to-grow climber that will reach 1.8m and contains varieties including 'Indigo King', 'Butterfly', 'Lady Turrall', 'Painted Lady' and 'Cupani'.

The runner bean 'St George' was the best performer at the last RHS Wisley runner bean trial and is an Award of Garden Merit winner. It is British-bred with red and white flowers and long, straight pods.

It crops earlier and heavier than the similar variety 'Painted Lady' and produces pods 25-30cm in length. They have good snap with little sting or fibre if picked regularly and young.

Other highlights from the company's offering for 2010 include Begonia 'Cascading Fragrant,' the follow-up to the popular Aromantics range of scented Begonia. The Belgian-bred variety is said to be the world's first cascading scented Begonia.

Buddleja 'Buzz' is said to be the first Buddleja that can be grown on a patio. It is compact, growing to 90cm high and flowering all summer.

Another notable development is climbing Geranium 'Gerainbow', said to grow 1.8m in a season, which incorporates five bright colours.

Osteospermum 'Sunbrella', said to be the world's first trailing variety, comes in five vivid colours and has a vigorous cascading habit.

Also new are the Gazania 'Big Kiss Yellow Flame' and 'White Flame' F1 hybrids - probably the largest-flowered bedding gazanias from seed.

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