"Breed the best to the best - and hope for the best!" is an old horse racing adage, but it can be equally relevant to the plant world. Neither thoroughbred nor plant breeding is actually that easy, although with the birth of new strawberry Mariguette as the result of a cross between the two outstanding French varieties Gariguette and Mara des Bois, mail order fruit supplier D. T. Brown can be forgiven for believing it has a winner in its stable.

Raised in France by a long-established breeding company with an excellent reputation for its soft fruit, this everbearing variety has parents which are both renowned for their exceptional flavours and favoured by many leading chefs. It was originally noticed two years ago at the trial site in France by D. T. Brown's Tim Jeffries, who points out the breeder's grandfather developed Mara des Bois, so there is a good human pedigree running parallel with the strawberry one!

"We were struck by the berries' bright red colour and the fact the fruits were well displayed on the plant – basically, they were easy to pick so we tasted quite a few!", says Tim. "The fruits were utterly delicious, being so sweet and succulent, we knew we had to include Mariguette in our everbearer range. We’ve had to wait a couple of years for the stocks to be built up before we could offer plants to our customers, but we’re sure the wait will be worth it".

The large, rather long strawberries begin cropping in June and continue yielding in flushes until October. "Because the fruits are so well presented on the plants, Mariguette is an excellent variety for growing in containers, especially when space is limited", concludes Tim. A pack of five runners costs £7.95, but two packs may be ordered for just £6.95 per pack. Plants will be despatched from late March 2015.

To request a copy of the latest D. T. Brown catalogue, write to D. T. Brown, Western Avenue, Matrix Park, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 7NB, telephone 0845 3710532, fax 0845 3710534 or go online www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk