Donated by one of our volunteer guides at Ryton, who originally obtained the seed from one of his old friends, George Potts. The seed was handed down to Mr Potts by his father who had grown them since the early 20th century in Manchester. They seem to be resistant to pests and disease and produce a heavy crop of delicious beans.
Our donor acquired these seeds from a guest speaker at his local gardening club. The speaker, Mr Lockwood, was in his 80s and has given up his allotment after years of saving his own seed. Sow in March under glass for an August/September harvest. Bradford Bomb is a compact, white cabbage and great for showing. As Mr Lockwood was a judge at local horticultural shows we should probably take his word for it!
Our donor was given seeds of this variety as a gift from a friend in Germany. It is so named as the pattern around the hilum of the seeds resembles an angel. In Germany it is also known as the Monstrance Bean, as these markings also bare some similarity to the shape of the sacred vessels used by the Roman Catholic church. The legend suggests that, during WW1, a French pastor planted beans above his buried artifacts to prevent their discovery. The beans produced by these plants bore the marks we now see. They produce beautiful orange-red flowers followed by flat, green pods packed with the pretty beans, which are perfect for use dried.
Our donor was given these seeds by a friend who had, in turn, been given the beans by Percy Parker himself. Percy had grown this variety since WWII Two in Barcombe, East Sussex. Unfortunately, Percy passed away, but his name lives on in this lovely bean. The strong and productive plants have white flowers followed by long, straight, flat, stringless green pods containing small, white beans.
This American heirloom is unusual in that the very deep-purple/black seeds are almost shaped like a kernel of corn. The lilac flowers are followed by green pods each containing around six beans. Primarily a drying bean, perfect for use in the Native American dish consisting of corn, beans and peppers - hence its name. A late bean that appears to perform better for our growers in the South of England, possibly due to the warmer temperatures and longer growing season.
This variety dates back to at least 1945 and was sent by Allman Brothers Ltd, Nurseries, to Wisley for trial in 1947. A maincrop, dwarf variety growing to around 45cm in height. Produces white flowers and blunt, fibrous pods containing 4-5 seeds in each. Wonderfully sweet straight from the pod, and tasty when cooked too.
Bred by British seedsmen Carters, of Raynes Park, London. The 1.5m plants produce masses of white flowers followed by pods borne in pairs. Don't let their relatively small size put you off, they are packed with peas! Let us know what you think of the flavour.