Morrice and Ann Innes of Newmachar, north of Aberdeen, have won a prestigious RHS Chelsea Gold Medal at the renowned annual Flower Show for the past two years. They are returning to the Great Pavilion this year in the hope of making it three in a row. What is unusual is that there are no flowers blooming on the Innes’ exhibit. Their stand, sponsored by Thompson & Morgan, is a showcase of potatoes; a homage to the tuber.
The potato display aims to highlight the diversity and versatility of the nation’s favourite vegetable, whilst tracing the origins of some of the potatoes in Morrice’s extensive collection of some 500 varieties.
In 2015, Morrice and Ann won the first ever Chelsea Gold Medal for a potato-only display in the show’s 150 year history.
Displayed on the stand this year will be a selection of Wild Solanum potato plants, grown by Morrice and Ann, and by Thompson & Morgan’s potato expert, Colin Randel, as well as around 150 potato varieties in all shapes and colours. According to Ann, there will also be some ‘weird and wonderful’ tubers of Solanum Tuberosum, cultivated from wild species of the group Stenotomum, as well as a selection of mini tubers which are in the early stages of new variety production.
The display will feature a new variety, Vizelle, which will be launched in September 2017 ready for the 2018 growing season. Vizelle will be available exclusively from Thompson & Morgan.