BBC Essex gardening presenter Ken Crowther answers all your gardening questions and queries. This week he is joined by Lucy Chamberlain, who gardens at East Donyland Hall, Fingringhoe.


Established in 1885, Wilkin & Son have always shown entrepreneurial spirit. Starting out as farmers of soft fruit they diversified to jam making, going on to make marmalades, honey and fruit gin liquers. The company has now established a chain of tea rooms across Essex, the latest recently opened in Chelmsford. Scott Goodfellow explained to Ken Crowther why he thinks they are so popular.


Part of the apple family, the fruits of the quince are used to produce the traditional jelly. However, unlike an apple the fruit is much harder and has to be sliced to be eaten. The growers at Wilkin and Son in Tiptree check the quince on a weekly basis to see if they are ready to be picked as Andrey Ivanov told Ken Crowther.


This month on the Kings Seed Plot the runner beans are already over. It’s not usual for Andrew Tokely to be still picking his runner beans into October and beyond. However, this year they took a bit of a battering by the wind and had to be stripped down early as Andrew explained to Ken Crowther.


Perennials usually take two years to get into flower; however, Mr Fothergill’s have a selection of seed which flower in the first year. Trials manager Brian Talman told Ken Crowther how they have working to develop a range of seeds which are fool proof.