Gardeners who discover new plants can bag big cash rewards.

Foxglove ‘Primrose Carousel’

Thompson & Morgan, the Ipswich seed company, is offering rewards of £500 to gardeners who come up with a new plant that makes it into its range.

Gardeners are being urged to search their plots for novelties or dabble at breeding in a bid to come up with striking new plants.

T&M’s plant breeder Charles Valin has produced a leaflet that explains how to find or create plants.

It starts with a simple method known as ‘selection’ and expands to more skilled breeding activities such as cross-pollination.

T&M’s Michael Perry said customers often didn’t realise they had a new plant in their garden.

“Simple observation can reap rewards,” he said. “Alternatively, gardeners can try their hands at some plant breeding with our step-by-step guides.”

The firm’s seed and young plant catalogues already boast plants found by customers. T&M’s flower of the year, sweet pea ‘Ballerina Blue’, was created by amateur breeder Charles Welch.

Other finds by customers include Foxglove ‘Primrose Carousel,’ Petunia ‘Fireworks’ and
Tomato ‘Sungella’.

“The plants of Foxglove ‘Primrose Carousel’ were actually found at a plant sale,” Michael added.

To receive a free copy of T&M’s step-by-step guide to discovering new plants, call (01473) 695208 or email creations@thompson-morgan.com.

Or go to www.thompson-morgan.com/discover-new-plants for details.