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160 baskets of Viola 'Waterfall' on a bridge in Suffolk. Images © Thompson & Morgan

Now here’s a way to celebrate!

British seed and plant company Thompson & Morgan celebrates its 160th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion they’ve done something rather amazing. They’ve hung 320 hanging baskets from a bridge over the river near their headquarters in Suffolk, 160 on each side (click the picture to enlarge). And they’re all planted with T&M’s brand new, own-bred, fragrant, trailing viola mixture – ‘Waterfall’ (Brits will be able to order it in May).

First, they hired specialist highway contractors to fix the 320 heavy-duty hanging brackets in place, 8m (26ft) apart along the 1287m (4200ft) bridge, and then the baskets were hung. The teams worked from 12-4am over the last three nights. of March in liaison with local authorities. to cause minimal disruption to traffic. All be revealed today, 1 April.

A total of 5,760 violas have been planted in 3,200 liters (845 US gallons) of T&M’s own Incredicompost (yes, that’s what it’s called!) with 9.6kg (21 ponds) of their Incredibloom plant food added to keep them going till 1 June when they’ll be removed.

Of course, once they’re all in place, watering is the big challenge. But they’ve installed an automatic desalinating system that draws water from the brackish River Orwell below the bridge and doses the baskets with 2200 liters (580 US gallons) of water every day.

Well, I think this is pretty amazing. And I especially like the fact that they’re watered with desalinated water from the river below.

T&M say that “depending on public support” they’ll replace them all with summer flowers in June. So why not check in with Thompson & Morgan on the T&M Facebook page or follow T&M on Twitter and tell them what a great idea it is?


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Dermot Welsh

This is exactly the sort of thing those nutcases at Thomson and Morgan would do! They're always coming up with something crazy - there was the soy bean you could grow on your allottment. Never produced even one bean. I think they should actually do this - of course you could not see it from the road which is a big fault in the idea.


It may be an April Fool. :). I live very close to that bridge and you cannot see the outside of the bridge from the road over it and it is so high you can't see "the baskets" from road or river below it.

And de-salination - very good.

Graham Rice

Yes, I thought the de-salination was an especially good part. Have to say, I was fooled at first. It wasn't till I was exchanging emails with T&M about the variety of viola in the baskets that I cottoned on. But whoever had the idea deserves a bonus!

And yes, Dermot, they really should actually do it!

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