Get fruity with tomatoes

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LOVE may be in the air for garden centre visitors as a passion for tomatoes comes to the fore.

Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre near Morpeth will dedicate next week to the fruit, with displays of plants and products, as well as advice on offer.

And General Manager Roger Wale said customers may get more fruitiness than they bargained for.

“The French were convinced tomatoes had aphrodisiac properties and called them pommes d’amour, or love apples, but in this country they are simply one of our favourite salad items and they are relatively easy to grow too,” he said.

“We hope as many people as possible join us for our tomato week, which ties in with British Tomato Week.”

A selection of heritage tomatoes will be on show throughout the week, including some unusual varieties. Tomatoes on display and for sale will include Limmony, Summer Cider, Christmas Grapes, Vintage Wine, Striped Stuffer, Cream Sausage, First in the Field and Bloody Butcher.

Mr Wale said: “Our top quality plants are grown by veteran nurseryman and tomato expert Henry Cheer. Henry and his team of truly specialist growers are constantly researching different varieties to fulfil the ever changing tastes of consumers.”

Staff will be available to advise customers on selecting, planting and growing tomatoes and free advice leaflets will be offered while stocks last.

The tomato promotion runs at the centre for a week from Sunday.