As Beatrix Potter was such an enthusiast for the natural world, we at The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction aim to conserve historical vegetable varieties that are not widely available any more, working closely with the Heritage Seed Library. We are particularly interested in conserving the old English varieties that would have been around in Beatrix Potter’s era and that she would very much of had them in her own garden at the time. For instance, we have helped save a 160 year old vegetable variety, the ‘Long Scarlet Radish’, by removing it from the endangered list to being secure for the future. We will continue to grow the ‘Peter Rabbit’s Radish’ as we feel this is a particularly personal and important project for us as this old variety is instantly recognisable with the world famous Tale of Peter Rabbit, in which he can be seen eating the Long Scarlett Radish in Mr. McGregor’s Garden.
This year the garden at The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction is ten years old. In the last ten years, to our great delight, the garden has received many awards and accolades including winning Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. As part of our tenth birthday garden celebrations this year, we have decided to grow ten special varieties of vegetables. All of these are old varieties, and some are quite rare now too, and again all of them would have been available during Beatrix Potter’s lifetime. Working alongside the Heritage Seed Library we will be conserving one of the orphan varieties the Pea ‘Daffodil’. It was introduced in the 20th century, and is described as a wrinkle seed…long, straight, pointed, deep green pods, strikingly handsome and prolific. You can see our gardener Tim planting them up here. We are keen conservationists at The World of Beatrix Potter and in turn we will be taking on 9 more heritage seed varieties from the Heritage seed Library to celebrate the garden’s tenth anniversary.