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Red Jacket Gooseberry bush


Collection of orders by arrangement preferred but online orders also accepted for despatch usually within 5-7 working days.

A very old English heirloom Gooseberry; we are delighted to have limited stocks available. 

 The English 'Red Jacket' cultivar stood alone as the winner, primarily due to its superior hardiness (per conversation with Gene Howard, superintendent of the Cheyenne Station from 1964 to 1974). Mr. Howard told me cuttings had been obtained directly from England and that it eventually became his personal favorite due to its hardiness, productivity, flavor andrelative freedom from powdery mildew. He held the English 'Red Jacket' in such high regard that he transplanted it, and none other, to his personal residence before the collection was destroyed. The plant in Cheyenne is extremely thorny with thick, heavy thorns in triplets at each node and bears prolifically, so much that the weight of the fruit has caused the branches to grow in a mounded, almost prostrate form. The earliest known reference dates to 1881 where the 'Red Jacket' took 6th place in the red category at the English National Gooseberry Show held in Manchester. One of its berries was reported to have weighed  approx. 1.1 ounces. Berries in Cheyenne were about the circumference of a nickel with 20 to 30 berries per branch. From a reference (J.L. Budd and N.E. Hansen in 1903) it is described as having smooth skin and flesh sweet and good. Budd and Hansen named it 'English Red Jacket' to distinguish it from the Canadian sort.

Sending a tree through the post isn't easy, so our parcels are expertly packed to keep your goods in the best condition. There is no surcharge on the delivery of larger parcels/orders.

Tree size as supplied varies but is usually between 3.5' - 4.5' on despatch. A few varieties might be slightly smaller, some a little bigger, of course it does vary but this is a good average. WE SUPPLY YOUNG TREES - and are proud to do so. Although we are sometimes requested to supply older/bigger trees, the percieved advantages are outwighed by disadvantages! Older trees take longer to establish and will fruit no more quickly. The young trees we send out grow away and establish so quickly and healthily & often yield within 1 season of planting. Our customers even report fruits the first year of planting! All professional fruit growers prefer to plant young trees rather than older.

Our soft fruit bushes are usually 2 years old.
Everything is stringently graded, grown on the nursery and well packed!

  • No need to be in - You can request your parcel to be left in a safe place, or stipulate an alternative delivery address, at the checkout.
  • Free 16 page booklet with every order dealing with all aspects of fruit growing.

Gold Standard Health & Quality

Chris Bowers' Gold StandardWe have in place very rigorous standards for the health, providence and uniformity of all our fruiting plants & trees. Our Nursery and the stock we grow is inspected and passported for health regularly by DEFRA experts [formerly the Ministry of Agriculture] and we have in place our own stringent controls and inspection programmes to ensure our fruiting bushes and trees are the best, most disease free stocks available and truly beyond compare.

We always propagate from certified stock where this exists and have the highest standards regarding providence and grading. If only the very best will do - as it should - then you can rely on a Chris Bowers fruiting plant to give the most exemplary results available. We firmly believe that only the very healthiest stock can and does produce vastly superior results - and it shows.

Our Guarantee

We are proud of each & every plant & tree we despatch from our Nursery. If it fails to thrive or live up to your expectations we will replace or refund it. This is in addition to your statutory rights. We may rarely ask for details of care and cultivation given to it, or arrange for a return of the item for inspection, to assist in our own programme of improvement.