The essential journalist news source
Yorkshire businesses collaborate to create Chelsea first

Yorkshire businesses collaborate to create Chelsea first


The East Yorkshire based European division of American seed company W. Atlee Burpee & Co., has called on a North Yorkshire Technology Centre to help them produce plants in time for its first RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May.


Selby based Stockbridge Technology Centre is growing varieties of Burpee's tomato, pepper and cucumber plants, including two, Cherry Baby and Crimson Crush, that were bred by Burpee's European Sales and Marketing Director, Simon Crawford, in East Yorkshire.


Burpee Europe, based at Foston on the Wolds near Driffield, will showcase its plants and seeds at Chelsea for the first time in its 141 year history.


Of the collaboration with Stockbridge Technology Centre, Simon Crawford said : "We are proud that we are one of only a handful of active seed houses in the UK and wanted to showcase our specially developed seeds to Britain's home gardeners. Using Stockbridge's expertise in growing under glass means that we will have high quality plants fruiting in time for Chelsea."


In order to ensure safe transit of the plants, specially designed powder coated aluminium frames have been fabricated in Hull business,Kintech Ltd.


Burpee specialises in developing and breeding disease resistant varieties of vegetables and flowers that can be grown sustainably by home gardeners. Burpee supplies its seeds to many companies including Pennard Plants, Thompson and Morgan and Suttons.


The varieties grown at Stockbridge Technology Centre include;


Tomato Crimson Crush    A proven blight resistant variety with exceptional flavour

Tomato Cherry Baby        The ultimate home garden cherry tomato

Tomato Summer Frolic    Earliness and flavour combined in a classic sized fruit

Tomato Patio Plum           A windowsill tomato that produces fruit from May to December

Pepper Tangerine Dream    A compact growing snacking pepper with a hint of spice

Pepper Popti                          A very prolific sweet pepper for small spaces

Pepper Cardinal                   A sweet pepper that turns purple to red on compact plants

Pepper Red King                    A super large pepper with juicy, thick fruit

Cucumber Merlin                        A mid-sized cucumber with an astonishing yield

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.


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.





1. L-R Kate Watkinson from Burpee, Catherine Harford and Andrew Ellis from Stockbridge Technology Centre

2. Cherry Baby - tomato bred in East Yorkshire by Simon Crawford



For more information or to arrange an interview with Simon Crawford, please contact Tracey Baty at three60 marketing on;


Direct line: 01430 871360

Mobile: 07971 961574



Notes for editors


  1. For more information about Burpee Seeds and Plants, please visit

  2. Pennard Plants is based in a Victorian Walled Garden in Somerset and grows and sells one of the largest selections of edible plants, heritage and heirloom seeds, fruit and herb plants in the UK. Chris Smithis an award winning nurseryman and accomplished speaker.For more information, please visit

  3. Simon Crawford was appointed to the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee in 2006. Other involvements with the RHS include appointment to the Trials Advisory Committee in 2009 and invitations to judge at major RHS Shows, including Chelsea Flower Show.

  4. In Oct 2016, Burpee and The Burpee Foundation gifted $2.5 Million to ensure the operation and maintenance of the White House Kitchen Garden initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama.