Home Vegetables Year of the Cucumber

Year of the Cucumber

Cucumber Mini Munch. Picture; Mr Fothergill's
Cucumber Mini Munch. Picture; Mr Fothergill's

Vegetable star of 2020 announced at Mr Fothergill’s open day

Next year has been designated Year of the Cucumber by Fleuroselect, with varieties that are easy to grow for home gardeners.

Far from the long, plain green tricky exhibition varieties of old, cucumber now come in an array of shapes, sizes and colours, which means gardeners of any ability can give them a go.

Fleuroselect is a group of horticultural industry experts which judge new varieties and strives to protect and promote them. Each year, a flower (See Year of the Rudbeckia here) and a vegetable are chosen.

Cucumber Luxury F1. Picture; Mr Fothergill's
Cucumber Luxury F1. Picture; Mr Fothergill’s

Secretary-general Sally van der Horst spoke about Fleuroselect at Mr Fothergill’s open day in August at their Kentford trial grounds.

Trialled to be winners

Varieties are assessed in European trials which could then become Fleuroselect Gold Medal and FleuroStar winners.

Cucumber Crystal Apple. Picture; Mr Fothergill's
Cucumber Crystal Apple. Picture; Mr Fothergill’s

She said: “Our Home Garden group has not sat still. Just over 10 years ago, we got together to look at how we could talk to each other and better share ideas on a Pan-European scale.

“Mr Fothergill’s has been on the organising committee for that from the start, now through our great friend and supporter, commercial director, Tim Jeffries.”

Cucumber Green Fingers. Picture; Mr Fothergill's
Cucumber Green Fingers. Picture; Mr Fothergill’s

The Home Garden Group developed a Plant of the Year campaign to promote one crop each year in both flowers and vegetables that is suitable for hobby gardeners, starting first with the sunflower, which was supported by a spectacular display at RHS Wisley of more than 180 varieties.

European trials

2019 is the year of the Nasturtium and the Carrot and Mr Fothergill’s has Nasturtium trials at RHS Harlow Carr and Hyde Hall as well as the Jardins des Plantes in Paris, Ega Park in Erfurt, Teagasc, Ashtown Food Research Centre in Dublin and the spectacular Blumeninsel Mainau on Lake Constance.

Cucumber Hopeline. Picture; Mr Fothergill's
Cucumber Hopeline. Picture; Mr Fothergill’s

Sally added: “We use children in the photography as we have high hopes that it will encourage them to develop and maintain pleasure in gardening. You can’t start young enough.”

For more on Mr Fothergill’s cucumbers, visit here.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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