Put on a full suite of sweet peas
19 March 2018 | Posted in Gardening by
A sweet pea story - learn how this popular flower became part of our gardens
Author: Patrick Wiltshire
Fill your garden with summer scent and your heart with joy from romantic sweet peas. Full of colour, fragrance and with a lovely climbing habit these flower favourites are a hit for gardeners with a small space and want to maximise on vertical gardening. Sweet peas also complement other flowers in the garden well. Growing by tall perennials such as delphiniums or hollyhocks you are given a visual and scented spectacular.
The beautiful flower has come a long-way over the centuries and the gardener today can look forward to varieties in all shapes, colours and sizes. Here’s a brief timeline of the sweet pea – its humble beginnings and its modern-day staggering success.
A walk down memory lane...
Early 1700 – Sicilian monk sends the seeds of Lathyrus odaratus to eminent plant collectors
1700-1870 – New forms discovered from UK seedmen
1888- Henry Eckford breeds sweet peas with bigger petals and a great colour range.
1900- Gardener to the Spencer family Silas Cole discovers a sweet-pea form with flair, a sweet pea with a stylish wavy edge and a long stem – perfect for cutting and adding to vases.
1900- William Unwin selects a wavy-edged form and grows it into his range and creates Unwin’s Seed Company. Unwin and son soon begin to breed sweet peas with the most romantic of ripples, stripes and markings. To this day we have the most charming varieties available to you the gardener.
1970-Extensive breeding work begins including the birth of Modern Grandifloras – scented, colourful varieties on long stems perfect for cutting to put in vases.
Our plants for you
You receive sweet pea plants from us ready for planting from April or May. We suggest you plant them in the garden once Jack Frost has paid his last visit so take note what kind of a spring we’re having.
You receive a nine-module tray of healthy plants, already sown and trained by us at the seedling stage so you just need to focus on planting them out as young plants, rather than tending to them when they are delicate and vulnerable seedlings.
Styling your garden with sweet peas
Every module contains five small plants so you have a potential 45 flowering plants in total. From just one in-module tray you have enough flowers to try the following looks;
Sweet peas are timeless as are structures in the garden made from wood and canes. Create willow-cane wigwams in your flower beds (or pea-stick wigwams for miniature varieties) for attractive sweet pea highlights
Imagine walking under a roof of sweetly-scented sweet peas when they are in full bloom, leading from one part of your garden to the next.
Create wooden screens in your flower beds as a modern-style alternative to wigwams. This will add height to your flower beds, visual interest and of course fantastic fragrance.
Carpets of scent
Sweet peas need not just climb. Modern dwarf varieties allow you to grow sweet peas along the ground to create natural charming carpets.