Our plant team ordinarily spend time visiting suppliers and growers around the UK and Europe, but like so many other things in the past 18 months this hasn’t been possible…until now!
Last week Martin was delighted to be able to take some of our bedding team to one of the Ball Colegrave ‘Summer Showcase’ open days. While away they also paid a visit to one of our hardy nursery stock suppliers, The Bransford Webbs Plant Company.
Ball Colegrave is the UK’s leading wholesale distributor or seed and plants to commercial growers. They host open days for the industry at their Trial Ground, here they showcase many of their existing top performing varieties in inspirational and stimulating patio and garden displays along with presentations of new varieties and experimental lines.
The Bransford Webbs Plant Company is one of the leading growers of ornamental plants in the UK. They are a wholesale nursery based in Worcestershire, and supply new and innovative plant promotions to garden centres across the UK.
First stop - The Bransford Webbs Plant Company
|Stunning Delphiniums||Geranium 'Chocolate Candy'||Martin receiving some top growing tips!||Proven Winners Hydrangea|
Proven Winners are a range of specially selected plants that offer long flowering times, multiple seasons of interest, distinctive foliage or flower colour and a compact growth habit. Through the Proven Winners range we are working with The Bransford Webbs Plant Company to bring new and innovative plants to our customers, keep an eye out for their unique branded pots next time you visit us.
|A lovely crop of Lupins||Ample outdoor growing space||On-site reservoir to supplement watering supplies||Straight lines are always satisfying!|
As we develop our own nursery, visiting established sites is incredibly beneficial and our team are always interested to learn from their visits. As with all industries, ours is constantly evolving and bringing new developments in to improve growing conditions and production techniques.
|Potting machine hard at work||Dispatch area - a hive of actvity||Some of the crops awaiting dispatch||Sam, Jack and Martin enjoying their visit|
Adam (taking the photo rather than starring in it!) and Jack who both joined our team earlier his year, found the visit to Bransford Webbs particularly interesting as they had not been to a large wholesale nursery before. The scale of operation and efficiency of both production and dispatch is quite impressive!
Ball Colegrave's Summer Showcase
|New introductions looking beautiful||Calibrachoa hanging baskets||Calibrachoa Can-Can 'Blueberry Punch'||Calibrachoa Caberet 'Copacabana'|
Ball Colegrave’s Summer Showcase is always a riot of colour and this year was no exception! Calibraochoa are a favourite of Martin’s, their compact shape and masses of colourful flowers make them ideal for hanging baskets and containers. New variety, Can-Can ‘Blueberry Punch’ was a real stand and out and we’re looking forward to growing it next year.
|Fabulous foliage hanging baskets||Eye-catching without flowers!||Wonderful colours from this foliage collection||Stunning colour combinations|
There is always something new or different to see when visiting Ball Colegrave and their foliage displays were fantastic, giving a real vision of what can be achieved without the use of flowers. Sam prefers a ‘pop’ of colour though and was very impressed by the concept collections and recipe mixes such as ‘Tangerine Twist’ above.
|Bountiful Begonias||Beautiful Osteospermum||Simple but striking Bacopa hanging basket||Petchoa - one for the future?|
As well as showcasing new varieties, the trail grounds are home to many experimental crops that could be launched in the coming years. This vivid Petchoa caught the eye; Petchoa are a hybrid bred to bring the best features of Petunia and Calibrachoa together.
|Rows and rows of lovely plants||Quite an impressive flower bed!||Antirrhinum - a long-standing favourite||Pretty perennial border|
Out in the grounds of the site they use the space to demonstrate planting combinations and ideas, some traditional and others more modern. As well as bedding plants there are a large number of perennials on show, again both new varieties and experimental crops.
|Delightful Delphiniums||Single colour planting scheme used to great effect||Beautiful grounds, bathed in glorious sunshine||Jack, Adam, Sam, Martin and a giant chair!|
As you would expect, a fine dry day makes a trip such as this all the more enjoyable and it certainly was an absolute pleasure to walk the grounds surrounded by beautiful plants. We came away full of ideas and inspiration for next year!