There are lots of interesting plants, new and old, in the Growing Tastes marquee at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show including garlic and grafted vegetables. And on the Marshalls stand there was a new strawberry and new variety of rocket.
The strawberry is still grown under its reference number of ‘EM 1119' and has some great qualities. It's an extra early variety which holds its foliage more upright that in other varieties and holds its flowers above it foliage - this makes it much easier to get the straw mulch in place than is the case with other varieties. It's good on flavour and will often produce a second, rather smaller crop, later in the season.
‘EM 1119' was raised by David Simpson, who raised popular ‘Marshmello', at East Malling Research in Kent. It will replace the variety ‘May'. There's a competition running in Kitchen Garden magazine in which a reader will give this variety its name.
Also on the Marshalls stand was a very attractive new variety of rocket called ‘Oakley'. Three features make it stand out. Firstly, ‘Oakley' is slower than other varieties to run to seed, and such restraint is always a valuable. It's very uniform and upright so is easy to cut and its noticeably oak-leaved habit is very attractive. As to flavour, it's been described as "sweet with a kick".
The strawberry ‘EM 1119' will be available later in the year from Marshalls, seed of rocket ‘Oakley' is available at the Show and also online from Marshalls.