|Founded||1855 Ipswich, England|
|Products||Seeds, young plants (UK), and garden sundries|
Thompson & Morgan is an independently-owned company based in Ipswich, Suffolk. Founded in 1855,Thompson & Morgan offer English plants, seeds and sundries worldwide through their websites. The U.S. division of the company was sold to Gardens Alive in 2009.
The company distributes their products through its mail order catalogues, the Internet and retail outlets. Their various websites feature over 8,000 products, showcasing the entire Thompson and Morgan range.
Seed catalogues are distributed to 163 countries worldwide. Thompson and Morgan seeds are stocked in the following countries: Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, USA, Canada, Korea, and Japan.
Thompson & Morgan (T&M) had its origins in a small garden behind a baker's shop in Ipswich, where a young William Thompson's passion for botany grew. His speciality was growing rare and unusual plants whose seeds were sent from countries all over the world. Not only did it provide a sense of adventure for Thompson, it also established friendships with such scientists as Charles Darwin, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Sir Michael Foster.
From the back garden he moved to a nursery at the edge of Ipswich and then to an even larger one. Eventually, there were three of Thompson’s nurseries in the town. At this time, Thompson began to publish a magazine called The English Flower Garden.
In 1855, after moving from that small 'starter' garden, Thompson issued his first catalogue. He specialised in growing rare and unusual plants, seeds of which were sent to him from many overseas countries. His efforts made him one of the most distinguished plantsmen of his day and he was honoured by the Royal Horticultural Society with the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897.
With the seed-raising firm expanding, William Thompson started his partnership with John Morgan. John provided the business acumen that enabled Thompson & Morgan's continued solid growth. Thompson died in July 1903 at the age of 80, having lived to see Thompson & Morgan become one of the country's greatest seed firms with a reputation for introducing more species and varieties to the British gardening public than any other company.
John Morgan spent the next ten years as sole owner until he partnered with Joseph Sangster in 1913. Sangster was a brilliant horticulturalist who was to add 4,000 plant names to the 2,000 already offered in the T&M catalogue. He took full control of the company upon John's death in 1921.
Joseph's son Murray joined the company in 1933 and the following year Joseph was elected president of the Horticultural Trades Association of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1939, T&M became a limited company and when Joseph died in 1952, Murray Sangster took control. His two sons, Keith and Bruce, joined Murray later. In 1973, they decided to expand their distribution centre in Poplar Lane, Ipswich from where the company still operates. In 1982, Bruce Sangster headed the company's expansion in the U.S. after previously having a distribution base in Jackson, New Jersey. In 1995 this was followed up by the creation of a young plants division in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The Sangster brothers subsequently relinquished control of the business in December 1999 for £17.5 million.
In May 2002, Thompson & Morgan returned to independent private ownership by Primary Capital Partners, the Sangster brothers and key management. The company was sold to BVG Group in March 2017 through the acquisition of their parent company, Branded Garden Products for an undisclosed amount, however the sale price was estimated at £10 million. The new group has a combined turnover of £140 million, with an EBITDA in the region of £13.5 million.
In the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018's 'plant of the year' competition, Thompson & Morgan plants were awarded first and third place.
This section does not cite any sources . (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The first Thompson and Morgan catalogue was created in 1855. They now produce over 20 different catalogues that are distributed in the UK, US, French and German markets. Catalogues are distributed by mail and can be requested directly from the company by telephone or via their websites.
Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as geraniums or cranesbills. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), founded in 1804 as the Horticultural Society of London, is the UK's leading gardening charity.
Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees. The first, Fuchsia triphylla, known to Europeans was discovered on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola about 1696–1697 by the French Minim monk and botanist, Charles Plumier, during his third expedition to the Greater Antilles. He named the new genus after German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566).
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens or Lalbagh is an old botanical garden in Bengaluru, India. First planned and laid out during the rule of Hyder Ali and later adorned with unique plant species by his son Tipu Sultan, it was later managed under numerous British Superintendents before Indian Independence. It was responsible for the introduction and propagation of numerous ornamental plants as well as those of economic value. It also served a social function as a park and recreational space, with a central glass house dating from 1890 which was used for flower shows. In modern times it hosts two flower shows coinciding with the week of Republic Day and Independence Day. As an urban green space along with Cubbon Park, it is also home to numerous wild species of birds and other wildlife. The garden also has a lake adjoining a large rock on which a watchtower had been constructed during the reign of Kempegowda II.
Dianthus barbatus, the sweet William, is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae, native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It has become a popular ornamental garden plant. It is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant growing to 13–92 cm tall, with flowers in a dense cluster of up to 30 at the top of the stems. Each flower is 2–3 cm diameter with five petals displaying serrated edges. Wild plants produce red flowers with a white base, but colours in cultivars range from white, pink, red, and purple to variegated patterns. The exact origin of its English common name is unknown but first appears in 1596 in botanist John Gerard's garden catalogue. The flowers are edible and may have medicinal properties. Sweet William attracts bees, birds, and butterflies.
Wisteria sinensis, commonly known as the Chinese wisteria, is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, native to China, in the provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, and Yunnan. Growing 20–30 m (66–98 ft) tall, it is a deciduous vine. It is widely cultivated in temperate regions for its twisting stems and masses of scented flowers in hanging racemes, in spring.
Heliotropium arborescens, the garden heliotrope, is a species of flowering plant in the borage family Boraginaceae, native to Peru. Growing to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) tall and broad, it is a bushy, evergreen, short-lived shrub with dense clusters of bright purple flowers, notable for their intense, rather vanilla-like fragrance. Common names also include cherry pie and common heliotrope. Note that the common name "garden heliotrope" may also refer to valerian (herb), which is not closely related.
Grevillea banksii, known by various common names including red silky oak, dwarf silky oak, Banks' grevillea, Byfield waratah and, in Hawaii, Kahili flower or Kahili tree. It is a plant of the large genus Grevillea in the diverse family Proteaceae. Native to Queensland, it has been a popular garden plant for many years though has been superseded somewhat horticulturally by smaller and more floriferous hybrids. A white-flowered form G. banksii fo. albiflora is known as white silky oak.
Ulmus × hollandica 'Vegeta', sometimes known as the Huntingdon Elm, is an old English hybrid cultivar raised at Brampton, near Huntingdon, by nurserymen Wood & Ingram in 1746, allegedly from seed collected from an Ulmus × hollandica hybrid at nearby Hinchingbrooke Park. The tree was given the epithet 'Vegeta' by Loudon, a name previously accorded the Chichester Elm by Donn, as Loudon considered the two trees identical. The latter is indeed a similar cultivar, but raised much earlier in the 18th century from a tree growing at Chichester Hall, Rawreth in Essex.
Sir Harry James Veitch was an eminent English horticulturist in the nineteenth century, who was the head of the family nursery business, James Veitch & Sons, based in Chelsea, London. He was instrumental in establishing the Chelsea Flower Show, which led to him being knighted for services to horticulture.
Iberis sempervirens, the evergreen candytuft or perennial candytuft, is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, native to southern Europe. The species is often used as an ornamental garden shrub because of its decorative flowers. Iberis is so named because many members of the genus come from the Iberian Peninsula in south west Europe. Sempervirens means "always green", referring to the evergreen foliage.
The hybrid elm cultivar Ulmus × hollandica 'Smithii', commonly known as the Downton Elm, was one of a number of cultivars arising from the crossing of the Wych Elm U. glabra with the Field Elm U. minor. The tree was originally planted at Downton Castle near Ludlow, as one of a batch, not all of them pendulous in habit, raised at Smith's Nursery, Worcester, England, from seeds obtained from a tree in Nottingham in 1810.
Silene coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae, native to Asia and Europe. Common names include rose campion, dusty miller, mullein-pink, bloody William, and lamp-flower. A white form 'Alba' is available
The elm cultivar Ulmus 'Purpurea', the purple-leaved elm, was listed and described as Ulmus Stricta Purpurea, the 'Upright Purpled-leaved Elm', by John Frederick Wood, F.H.S., in The Midland Florist and Suburban Horticulturist (1851), as Ulmus purpureaHort. by Wesmael (1863), and as Ulmus campestris var. purpurea, syn. Ulmus purpureaHort. by Petzold and Kirchner in Arboretum Muscaviense (1864). Koch's description followed (1872), the various descriptions appearing to tally. Henry (1913) noted that the Ulmus campestris var. purpureaPetz. & Kirchn. grown at Kew as U. montana var. purpurea was "probably of hybrid origin", Ulmus montana being used at the time both for wych elm cultivars and for some of the U. × hollandica group. His description of Kew's U. montana var. purpurea matches that of the commonly-planted 'Purpurea' of the 20th century. His discussion of it (1913) under U. campestris, however, his name for English Elm, may be the reason why 'Purpurea' is sometimes erroneously called U. procera 'Purpurea' (as in USA and Sweden.
The elm cultivar Ulmus 'Crispa' [:'curled', the leaf margin], sometimes known as the Fernleaf Elm, arose before 1800 and was first listed by Willdenow as U. crispa (1809). Audibert listed an U. campestrisLinn. 'Crispa', orme à feuilles crépues [:'frizzy-leaved elm'], in 1817, and an Ulmus urticaefolia [:'nettle-leaved elm'] in 1832; the latter is usually taken to be a synonym. Loudon considered the tree a variety of U. montana (1838). In the 19th century, Ulmus × hollandica cultivars, as well as those of Wych Elm, were often grouped under Ulmus montana. Elwes and Henry (1913) listed 'Crispa' as a form of wych elm, but made no mention of the non-wych samara.
The hybrid elm cultivar Ulmus × hollandica 'Cinerea' was first listed by George Lindley in 1815, as Ulmus cinerea, the Ash-coloured Elm, and later by the André Leroy Nurseries, Angers, France, in 1856. It was distributed as Ulmus cinerea by the Baudriller nursery, Angers, and as Ulmus montana cinerea by Louis van Houtte of Ghent. A specimen in cultivation at Kew in 1964 was found to be U. × hollandica, but the tree at Wakehurst Place remains listed as U. glabra 'Cinerea'.
Roy Hay MBE, VMH was a British horticultural journalist and broadcaster. He was the author of many publications and the instigator of many organisations and events, including the annual Britain in Bloom competition.
Joseph Breck (1794–1873), a notable businessman and horticulturist of the 19th century, was born in Medfield, Massachusetts. He moved to Pepperell, Massachusetts, in 1817, working in the chaise carriage manufacturing business while also exploring his passion for horticulture in his gardens. His interest in flowers and plants developed into a career as an editor, from 1822 to 1846, of the New England Farmer, one of the earliest agricultural magazines established in the U.S., and the first of its kind in New England.
Renee Shepherd is a gardening entrepreneur and writer known for heirloom seed advocacy and garden-based cooking using home-grown herbs. Better Homes and Gardens called her "a groundbreaking gardener", and Businessweek a "pioneering innovator" who helped popularize specialty vegetables and cottage garden flowers for home gardening and gourmet restaurants.
The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Dicksonii', commonly known as Dickson's Golden Elm, is a yellow-leaved tree raised in Chester in 1900 by Dickson's Nursery, which distributed it from the autumn of 1907 as 'Golden Cornish Elm'. 'Cornish Elm' was the name often given in error to Guernsey or Wheatley Elm by the local authorities who planted the latter extensively, an error which may have influenced the choice of name by Dickson's nursery. 'Dicksonii' is usually listed as a variety of Guernsey Elm rather than Cornish Elm, Bean giving 'Wheatleyi Aurea' as a synonym, and Hillier U. × sarniensis 'Dicksonii'. Clibrans' nursery of Altrincham, however, described it (1922) as otherwise identical "in habit and constitution" to 'type' Cornish Elm. The Späth nursery of Berlin distributed it from c.1913 as U. campestris cornubiensis Dicksonii. The nursery Messieurs Otin père et fils of Saint-Étienne sold an Ulmus Wheatleyi aurea pyramidalis, with leaves marbled yellow, in 1882, earlier than Dickson's introduction.