Selby technology centre helps to secure RHS Chelsea Gold Medal

Michael Langale and Simon Crawford

The team at a North Yorkshire Technology Centre are celebrating after plants that they grew were part of an exhibit that was awarded gold medals at both the Chelsea and Chatsworth Flower Shows. 

Stockbridge Technology Centre was called upon by the East Yorkshire based European division of American seed company W Atlee Burpee & Co. to use their glasshouse growing expertise to ensure that tomato, cucumber and pepper plants fruited in time for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. 

Burpee partnered with Chelsea Gold award-winning nurserymen, Chris Smith and Mike Milligan from Pennard Plants to create an ‘Edible Haven’ that showcased new varieties of tomato, pepper and cucumbers for the first time in the business’ 141 year history.

Pennard Plants’ Chelsea exhibit featured a green roofed hobbit hut, a meadow with 20 species of wild flowers and a selection of tomato, pepper and cucumber plants whilst the Chatsworth exhibit included a display of edible plants, including Cherry Baby and Crimson Crush tomatoes that were grown from seed bred by Burpee’s European Sales and Marketing Director, Simon Crawford, in East Yorkshire.

Stockbridge Technology Centre’s operations director Michael Langdale said: “We’re very proud of the plants that we grew for the shows – they looked superb and we’re thrilled that the exhibits won Gold Medals.”

Privately owned Burpee was founded by W Atlee Burpee in 1876 and is the leading company in America’s home gardening industry. It breeds, produces and distributes seeds and plants of vegetables and flowers worldwide. Burpee is known as the name behind the seeds for many companies including Pennard Plants, Thompson and Morgan and Suttons.

Stockbridge Technology Centre is an independent, not for profit organisation that is wholly owned by the UK horticultural industry and is a centre of excellence in technology transfer to agriculture and horticulture. 

Burpee will also be partnering with Pennard Plants at the RHS Tatton Park show (19 – 23 July), where its seeds will be on sale under the Pennard Plants brand.


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