Our donor has known of this bean since the 1940s. Her family have always grown them, preserving the beans by salting. A robust variety that can be sown in the glasshouse for an early crop, or outdoors as late as July and still achieve a good yield of tender beans that only become stringy when over-mature. Shows some frost tolerance too.
After learning about HSL membership at a meeting of her local gardening society, our donor passed us some of her runner bean seeds. She has grown them and saved the seeds for more than 50 years without ever knowing their correct name. She has always known them as Lord Mildmay's after the owner of the Shoreham Place, Kent (unfortunately now demolished) where the variety originated.
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 whilst the long, green pods are sweet and tender.
Named after our donor, this is an unusual runner bean in that it produces around three stems per seed. Mr Simpson passed the bean to us to ensure that it would not be lost forever. He says, “A very heavy cropper, good length, an enormous size and very tasty.” Let us know what you think of it.