This heirloom has been grown by our donor's family in Bridgnorth, Shropshire for at least 100 years. It was passed to her by her aunt, who still grew a few beans in her garden when she was in her 90s. The scarlet flowers and violet/black seeds may not be unusual; however, many of the short (≈20cm), broad pods are tinged purple, growing darker when mature. They are also stringless when young.
Ernie Cooper claimed to have bred this variety during the 1950s or 1960s. It was passed to nurseryman, Vincent Cooper, who eventually gave seeds to our donor. Mr Cooper claimed that it produced pods upto 60cm in length! We didn't quite achieve that, but the plants were very productive and the pods stringless.
Our donor began developing this variety from Unwins Enorma back in 1971, and it has been grown in the village of Lubenham, Leicestershire, by himself and several other residents, for more than 25 years. He recommends that the beans are sown direct on 14th May and harvested regularly while the long, green pods are sweet and tender.
Named after the village in Somerset, it is thought that this variety has been grown in the county since the late 19th century. Seed Guardian, Adam Alexander, describes this as “a very fine bean; heavy cropping and reliable with good flavour.” Let us know what you think.
The one and only, truly original pink-flowered runner bean, deleted from the National List in the early 2000s. While not the heaviest cropping or earliest of varieties, 'Sunset' most certainly deserves to be grown for its pink flowers. Add to this the crisp, succulent and stringless pods then we have a winner! This variety is now commercially available once more, so this will be the only time we include it on the HSL Seed List.