A huge, cabbage-headed lettuce that can weigh anything up to 500g. The unusual pink tinge on leaf margins is temperature-dependent, apparent on planting out the young plants in the spring but disappearing as they start to mature. Leaves are large, full and smooth, ideal for adding to a sandwich.
Originally from the Vilmorin Seed House, this Charentais type melon produces round fruits, approximately 12-15cm in diameter and just under 1kg in weight. The orange flesh is sweet and juicy; one member was so keen to praise it that she contacted us immediately after sharing it with a friend, describing it as, “utterly delicious, the nicest melon we have ever eaten.”
'Nutmeg' was the name of one of the oldest melons known and, though it once referred to a definitive type, years of cultivation provided numerous variations. Cucurbits of New York (1935) states that Green Nutmeg is one of the earliest of these variations and the description they offer matches the one in the HSL Collection. When fully ripe the fruits have yellowish-brown skin with greenish-brown 'netting' and soft-textured, juicy, pale green flesh with a fantastic aroma. Does well in a cold frame or polytunnel, and outdoors in warmer areas.
This Russian variety forms clumps, similar to multiplier onions, of thumb-sized, purple tinged, crescent-shaped bulbs. Sow from spring through until early autumn; this perennial variety can be left in the ground all year round and propagated by allowing to seed (which it will in its second year) or by dividing the clumps. The mild flavoured bulbs are ideal for salads, soups and stir fries.
Our donor was given the seed by his neighbour, who in turn had acquired them from a past member of the Bullroyd Allotment Association, Bradford, where the pea had been successfully grown for many years. Dense plants reach 1.5-1.8m in height, producing pink and purple flowers and pods full of large, tasty peas. Guardian Michael Blake enjoyed their “old-fashioned” flavour and found them particularly tasty in a pea and cauliflower curry.
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.
This heirloom variety has been grown on our donor's great grandfather's farm in Co. Tyrone since at least 1850 (but possibly as far back as 1815). This tall (around 1.6m), prolific and vigorous pea produces beautiful pale pink and rich maroon flowers followed by a heavy crop of purple pods. The peas have a sweet and smooth flavour, becoming even sweeter when cooked. Sow to harvest 100 days (approx.)