ALL cucumbers great and small - and hairy and knobbly and slender - are flourishing at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate this week because of the recent hot weather.

This year 18 weird and wonderful cucumber cultivars are being grown at the garden for the first time – from round and hairy to long and slender, and even short and knobbly.

All are edible and while many have the familiar mild taste, some offer slightly different flavours: the creamy white fruits of cucumber ‘White Wonder’ for example have a sweet citrus flavour and crisp crunchy flesh and are the perfect addition to a gin and tonic.

Kitchen gardener Joe Lofthouse is overseeing Harlow Carr’s quirky cucumber display, which can be found in the Kitchen Garden greenhouse.

They are flourishing in the extra humidity caused by the hot weather.

One cultivar – ‘Telegraph Improved’ – has produced fruit that has more than doubled in size in a single day.

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In addition to the wealth of shapes, sizes, colours and textures, many of the cucumbers have fabulous names: ‘Burpless Tasty Green’, ‘Mini Munch’, ‘Chinese Slangen’ and ‘Zipangu’.

Mr Lofthouse says: “The cucumbers are enjoying the hot weather and are thriving in the heat of the Glasshouse, although they have been getting a bit thirsty so we have been watering them well.

"Unlike the wet and horrible summers we had a few years ago, these are the perfect conditions for growing cucumbers.”

The plants are being fed once a week with a balanced liquid feed and watered using a spaghetti tube watering system designed to keep humidity high and yields strong.

This relatively cheap system features an automatic timer which drip feeds the plants for exactly three minutes each time, three times a day.

The greenhouse is also dampened down three times a day and each plant is misted to maintain the high humidity. Soft horticultural twine is being used to provide support.