Home Featured plant On trial: Aloe, tomato, Lomandra from Thompson & Morgan

On trial: Aloe, tomato, Lomandra from Thompson & Morgan

Aloe Safari Sunrise. Picture; Thompson & Morgan
Aloe Safari Sunrise. Picture; Thompson & Morgan

Plants that are not all that they seem…

Another of my posts from the Garden Press Event – this time I’m focusing on three plants I’ll be trialling later this season, so I’ll report back on how they are doing.

Aloe Safari Sunrise

We’re used to growing Aloes indoors but this new variety makes a great patio plant. The spiky, dark green foliage forms a rounded, evergreen clump, providing year-round interest. Pointed, bicolour flower spikes of orange-pink and cream, like glowing candles keep coming all summer.

Ideal in a patio pot or in a well-drained, sunny rockery. It is hardy but is best moved to a sheltered, dry and frost-free place with a minimum temperature of 2ºC for overwintering, to prevent damage from cold, wet weather.

Safari Sunrise will also be happy all year in a conservatory or a cold greenhouse. Height and spread 90cm.

1 x 9cm potted aloe plant (kb4736) £12.99, www.thompson-morgan.com.

Lomandra longifolia White Sands. Picture; Thompson & Morgan
Lomandra longifolia White Sands. Picture; Thompson & Morgan

Lomandra White Sands

No, it isn’t a grass! You thought this was a grass, didn’t you? This is evergreen hardy perennial Lomandra longifolia White Sands, related to Cordylines and Aloes. It’s the first variegated cultivar, with slender, cream and green arching foliage. It provides superb year-round colour and structure, adding colour, movement and texture.

As an outback native, Lomandra can cope with heat, drought and freezing temperatures down to -10ºC (14F). It’s a quick grower for creating tough, resilient ground cover.

Plant it in pots, borders, gravel gardens and coastal positions – Lomandra White Sands will grow almost anywhere in sun or semi-shade. Height 70cm x spread 100cm, 1 x 14cm potted plant £14.99, www.thompson-morgan.com.

Tomato Rubylicious. Picture; Thompson & Morgan
Tomato Rubylicious. Picture; Thompson & Morgan

Tomato Rubylicious

This new cherry tomato is a blend of modern disease resistance and good, old fashioned flavour! Rubylicious has superb blight resistance and an incredible sweetness to its rich, tangy flavour. Each truss produces up to 12 orangey-red, cherry tomatoes weighing about 15g per fruit.

This indeterminate (cordon) variety is perfect for containers or planters in the greenhouse or on the patio, but can also be planted in a sunny spot in the garden. Height 2m, 3 tomato Postiplug plants (KB4126) £7.99, www.thompson-morgan.com.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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