Thompson & Morgan goes the extra mile for RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibitor

Michael Perry, right, delivering Digitalis "Illumination Apricot" plants for Thompson & Morgan's di

Michael Perry, right, delivering Digitalis "Illumination Apricot" plants for Thompson & Morgan's display at the Chelsea Flower Show to designers Fernando Gonzalez and Fern Alder. - Credit: Archant

Seed and plant specialist Thompson & Morgan has stepped in to help a major exhibitor at this week’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show to source urgently needed supplies of one of its varieties.

UK stocks of Digitalis “Illumination Apricot” have failed to flower in time for Fernando Gonzalez Garden Design’s Pure Land Foundation Garden, flagged ahead of the event as one of this year’s most prestigious show gardens.

When a nationwide hunt for flowering specimens produced no leads, Ipswich-based Thompson & Morgan widened the search by calling on growers across Europe.

Plants in perfect bloom were tracked down to the Plantinova nursery, near Barcelona in Spain, with Thompson & Morgan marketing assistant Terri Overett volunteering to make the round-trip to bring them to the UK.

Colleagues met the return flight at Stansted to rush the plants into London in time for the finishing touches to be made to the garden (stand FR25 at the show).


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Further supplies from German grower Kientzler, which were despatched via overnight ferry, also arrived in the nick of time.

Michael Perry, new product development manager at Thompson & Morgan, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk Norfolk, said: “Knowing our ‘Illumination Apricot’ was playing a major part in this cutting-edge show garden, we just had to help out.”

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Thang Vota, director of the design team at Fernando Gonzalez Garden Design, said: “Fernando and I are so grateful for all the effort put in by the team – they definitely thought outside the box to help get the plants in place on time.

“It was the company’s Chelsea Flower of the Year Award for Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’ in 2012, that inspired us to use the new sister line “Illumination Apricot” in our garden.”

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