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Lubera plants in an English garden

Since I’m British, my first encounter with the wonderful world of Lubera happened around 2010, when Lubera introduced their RedLove apple via Suttons Seeds. There was a bit of a media splash - a red-fleshed apple! It looked rather wonderful, but I wasn’t in the market for a new apple tree at the time.


A couple of years later, Lubera expanded the range of their plants that was available via Suttons, including - of all things - a pink blueberry. I was very tempted by the pink blueberry (it is properly pink), but actually I am not the biggest fan of blueberries, and my first garden had the wrong soil. In the new garden I have filled one of my raised beds with an ericaceous soil mix, and planted blueberries for my partner, Ryan, alongside the wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) he’s also rather fond of.

By 2015, when Lubera launched their DeliDahlias, I had moved to the new garden and was delighted to be able to trial this new and exciting edible tuber. You can find the dahlia-related entries on my Unconventional Gardener blog; we made dahlia ice cream, and dahlia pan haggerty, and loved the flowers enough to try growing them again in 2016.

But the garden wasn’t finished, so I couldn’t add too many new plants. Dreaming of the time when the garden would be properly ready, I spent hours pouring over the Lubera website, and created a wishlist of plants I wanted to buy. Between the front garden and the back garden there’s a trellis panel. It’s a sunny spot and I wanted a climber that would look attractive there during the summer. Since I focus on edible plants, I didn’t want anything purely ornamental. I settled on Eia Popeia, a passionfruit that is hardy to -20°C, with incredible flowers followed by edible fruit.

I have also long wanted a rose or two in the garden. Not for their flowers... not in the ornamental sense, anyway. I want a rose with scented petals and/or sizeable rosehips for cooking. My original choices for my wishlist were Rose Apothekerrose Officinalis and Rose de Resht, based on some rose research I did at the time. I finished off my ‘fantasy garden’ choices with Arom'arctic® Nyby, the arctic cloudberry, a fruit I think I first noticed in Ikea jam!

Well... that was then. This year the raised beds are all in place in the back garden, the front garden is planted with perennial edibles, and I’m ready to take on some new plants. So what’s on my Lubera shopping list this year?


To start with, I have ordered my Eia Popeia passionfruit - its spot next to the trellis is ready for it when it arrives! I can’t wait to see it in flower; passionflowers are just so exotic and alien-looking. For my first rose I have changed my mind a little bit and picked Rose Vitaminrose Pirosa, an almost thornless shrub variety grown for its hips.


Next on my shopping list was Rhubarb Livingstone. My rhubarb patch is currently just a figment of my imagination, but we’re hoping for hearty rhubarb harvests in future years (more about that in a future blog post). What I love about ‘Livingstone’ is that it extends the rhubarb season, potentially all through the summer. And talking to Markus at the Garden Press Event earlier this year, he sold me on Rhubarb Siruparber Canada Red, which (he says) is the best variety for rhubarb syrup.


My new garden doesn’t currently have an apple tree, so I spent quite a long time look at which would be the best choice for my space. At the Garden Press Event I was able to try some RedLove apple juice, which is delicious - and bright red! So I decided on a RedLove apple (although many of the other apple trees were tempting). There are several RedLove varieties to choose from, and after consultation with Ryan I have chosen RedLove Calypso as an espalier. Ryan is going to set up some posts and wires so I can train it against one of the fences. We don’t have room for a big apple tree.

Way back in 2007 I grew tiger nuts for the first time - I recorded an episode of the Alternative Kitchen Garden Show about them. They weren’t very easy to come by at the time; my records say my seed tubers came from a seed swap. They were easy to grow, but not having any idea what to expect, I wasn’t overly impressed by the harvest (as I later mentioned in my first book, The Alternative Kitchen Garden: An A to Z). I think it’s time to give them another try, and expect better results from a named variety. Lubera has two, so I have chosen Tiger nut Chufa White Coconut, which is more recommended for eating as tiger nuts (Chufa Black Tiger being more recommended for processing into horchata or tiger nut flour).

And finally... as I mention in my citrus podcast with Markus, I haven’t had the best luck growing citrus plants over the last few years. But a few years ago I started coming across mention of the Meyer lemon in American blog posts, all singing its culinary praises. They haven’t been easy to come by in the UK, although that is starting to change. And now that Lubera have added 60 (60!) varieties of citrus to their catalogue, it seems like the right time to take the plunge. So a Meyer lemon has been added to my order.

Now I just twiddle my thumbs and wait for my plants to arrive in May! Fortunately I already have two Lubera varieties that I picked up at the Garden Press Event - Raspberry Salmonberry ‘Olympic Double’,  a very ornamental berry, and the teeny tiny rhubarb - Lowberry Lilibarber - that is more like a rhubarb-flavoured herb than a fruit.

So... tell me - what are you lusting after in the Lubera catalogue? You can leave a comment here, come and find me on Twitter or have a chat on the Lubera Facebook page.

Emma Cooper




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