It may have been developed nearly a century ago, but the framberry is only just coming to the attention of many of the UK’s gardeners thanks to its revival by mail order kitchen garden specialist D. T. Brown, the company is offering plants of the fascinating hybrid in its new Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Seed and Plant Catalogue 2017.
A cross between the beach strawberry (Fragaria chilonesis) and the scarlet strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), the hardy perennial framberry produces raspberry-sized fruits with a unique flavour balanced between that of a strawberry and a raspberry. The name derives from framboise, the French for ‘raspberry’.
The plants have a similar height and habit to those of modern strawberries, the foliage is an attractive deep green, and the delicious berries are bright red with the seeds set deep into the fruits.
D. T. Brown’s Tim Jeffries says It is best to plant framberries next to strawberries to aid pollination and help to maintain their special flavour. Fruit is usually ready for careful picking from mid June to mid July, with each plant capable of yielding up to 150gm.
One framberry in a 9cm pot costs £7.95, but three may be bought for £15.90, a saving of £7.95. Despatch is scheduled from mid April 2017.
To request a copy of the new Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Seed and Plant Catalogue 2017, write to D. T. Brown Seeds, Bury Road, Newmarket CB8 7PQ, telephone 0845 371 05 32, or go online www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk