‘Red Alert’ Tomato and Barnsdale Gardens celebrating 40 years together

In 1983, two gardening giants were launched, Barnsdale Gardens and the ‘Red Alert’ tomato.

The Barnsdale Gardens team were very fortunate to receive beautiful specimens of the tomato from the breeder Simon Crawford last week, which have now been placed in the Ornamental Kitchen Garden.

'Red Alert' Tomato and Barnsdale Gardens celebrating 40 years together

‘Red Alert’ Tomato and Barnsdale Gardens celebrating 40 years together

Simon Crawford started his career in 1978 at Asmer with ‘Red Alert’ being his first introduction 40 years ago. Since that time Simon has held various roles in plant breeding, initiating the Burpee breeding programme in 2011.

The very early to ripen, bush variety brought outdoor tomato growing back to Britain and was given the Award of Merit RHS Trials in 1982.  Still readily available to buy today, this superb tom ripened at least two weeks earlier than its closest rival back in the day. It has the added benefit of allowing sowings up until late May of ‘Red Alert’ to still yield a good crop in September.

Barnsdale Gardens is also celebrating 40 years of growing excellence this year. In 1983, Geoff Hamilton, the much-loved BBC Gardeners World presenter founded Barnsdale, developing the gardens from a pasture that he had ploughed. The BBC filmed there from the moment he moved in cementing Barnsdale as the new home of Gardeners’ World.  Geoff’s down to earth style whilst filming each show made him a hit with the viewers.

Nick Hamilton now continues his father’s legacy at the helm of Barnsdale, and has kept the sustainable ethos alive.  In fact, for over 30 years the gardens have been kept peat and chemical free.

Once harvested, visitors to the gardens will be able to enjoy ‘Red Alert’ at the Helenium Tea Room.

There’s plenty to see and do all year round at Barnsdale Gardens!

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