Last winter there was a huge trial of winter pansies at Wisley. Two hundred and fifty four different entries were grown and many were dazzling in the spring but not so many were consistently good in the winter when they're most needed. And it was for winter flowering that we judged them. The result was only... one AGM - although there are a few more whose awards are being held back until they've been made available to gardeners.
However, there were many varieties that were really excellent - especially in late winter and spring - but not quite good enough for an AGM. So the enterprising people at Thompson & Morgan
have put together a mix of eight of them. Let's be clear, these didn't-quite-make-its are not bad plants. In fact to be chosen from the very best out of the other 253 is pretty impressive. And it's great to see the deliberations of the trial judges translated into an attractive new mixture so quickly.
The ‘Winning Formula' blend includes the spectacular ‘Ultima Morpho' in blue with a large whiskered yellow face, the classic pansy look of ‘Supreme Yellow with Blotch' and the smaller flowered but bushy and prolific ‘Panola Yellow and Purple'. Most of the varieties included are available only in this special mix.
Plug plants of pansy ‘Winning Formula' are available from Thompson and Morgan Young Plants
. You can order for delivery in September.
And look out for my article on winter pansies in the November issue of The Garden.