Reine-Claude d'Oullins (Sibley's Patio Greengage)

Reine-Claude d'Oullins (Sibley's Patio Greengage)

Fruiting Tree in 4.5ltr pot

All year


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Plums don't have to be purple or red, they can be yellow and green too and wow do they taste good! The name 'gage' is said to have come from the 19th Century when a Lord Gage received a consignment of fruit trees from France and "green" plums were amongst them. Lucky old Lord Gage I say. Enjoy! They are delicious.


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Botanical name: Prunus domestica Reine-Claude d'Oullins
Ideal location & conditions: Full Sun
Size after 5 years: 1.25m x 75cm
Soil: Soil based compost with added grit
Flowering colour: Pure white
Flowering period: Late March - early April
Fruit harvest period: Mid August- early September

It’s not often that fruits are named after a Queen, inspire a film which carry its name, appear in a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch AND form the title of a novel.  Well, the dear old Greengage has!

Having found its way to England from France, where it was known as Reine Claude after Queen Claudia (who was married to King Francis of France in the 1500s), it quickly became a noted addition to the gardens of England.  Up until the late 1700s, plums were sad affairs, being far closer related to damson, small in size but big on acidity!

The unnamed Reine Claude trees arrived in Hengrave, Suffolk at the home of the Gage family, and by default, took the family name. It must have been a Eureka moment to the taste buds when the trees first bore fruits and plant breeders of the time soon started to use the very sweet and green fruits in their crossing programmes, trying to improve the quality of the traditional British plum.

The Reine Claude’s were obviously very well regarded in France and beyond, as they not only provided trees to Lord Gage in England, but also to George Washington in the late 1700’s. He planted them in his gardens at Mount Vernon, West Virginia in 1790, and our Will was able to graft trees in West Virginia of the original variety when he was called upon to help recreate the original Mount Vernon Plantings of 1799. The delicious tasting fruits soon became heavily planted in East Anglia, particularly Cambridgeshire, where the rich soils and climatic conditions suit plum growing. It soon became obvious that unlike most fruits, the Gage fruits grew true to type when their seeds were planted in the soil. This resulted in “Gage Hedges” being planted across Cambridgeshire and the remnants of some still exist today. They must be the best tasting hedges in the world!

Will came across our dwarf growing Oullin’s Golden Gage in one of these ancient hedge rows and propagated trees by grafting to ensure that the dwarf growing habit continues. These dwarf trees carry the Sibley name and add to the rich and fascinating history of Fruit Growing!