Posts Tagged ‘chelsea centenary’

Make a New Year’s resolution: Grow and win with Sweet Peas

January 10th, 2014 | Competitions, Events, News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Sweet Pea Old Spice MixedGardeners can make the best and most easily kept New Year’s resolution by sowing sweet pea seed in January for both the satisfaction of producing armfuls of cut flowers and the chance to win a large cash prize in Mr Fothergill’s national sweet pea growing competition.  The Suffolk seedsman has put £3500 up for grabs at its event to be held at Capel Manor College, Enfield, on Saturday 5 July 2014.

“Sweet pea seed can be sown in small pots of compost and placed in the greenhouse or on the kitchen windowsill any time during January or February”, says the company’s John Fothergill.  “The seedlings grow away well as the days lengthen to provide stocky young plants for setting out to their flowering positions in March or April”.

Several of Mr Fothergill’s recent and exclusive sweet pea introductions, such as Sir Henry Cecil, Chelsea Centenary and Pandemonium, have been bred in New Zealand by the renowned Dr Keith Hammett.  Such is his reputation that Mr Fothergill’s now puts a special flash on all its sweet pea variety packets bred by him to highlight the fact..  “We are delighted to be forging links with the world’s foremost sweet pea breeder”, comments John.

Sweet Pea Hammett CollectionThe competition is aimed at ‘ordinary’ gardeners rather than sweet pea exhibitors, and John is offering a collection of seed of six Hammett-bred varieties for just £8.95 – saving over £3 on the normal catalogue prices, to encourage as many people as possible to grow sweet peas this year (2014).  Collection includes: ‘Sir Henry Cecil’ (chocolate flaked), ‘Hi Scent’ (cream/mauve picotee), ‘Chelsea Centenary’ (pale lavender), ‘Pandemonium’ (frilly pink flake flowers), ‘Blue Shift’ (purple-blue) and ‘Almost Black’ (rich, dark colouring). Simply visit the main website to order our Sweet Pea Hammett Collection.

As the competition approaches, entrants may either post their blooms in a two-litre soft drinks bottle or turn up at the college on the day of the show to stage their flowers.  The two categories will be judged separately and there are also categories for individual youngsters and for schools.  Each of the four classes will carry a prize of £500.

Sending Postal Entries

The company has devised a method of allowing postal entries to arrive in good condition.   Follow the instructions for how to do this in the competition rules page.   All entries received this way last year arrived in good condition for judging.


The new Mr Fothergill’s catalogue features an extensive range of sweet pea seeds, which you can also browse online.   Request a copy of Mr Fothergill’s Seed, Plant and Bulb Catalogue 2014 online now or you can telephone 0845 371 0518 or write to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB for a copy.


Valerie Harrod Acclaimed ‘The People’s Sweet Pea’

August 29th, 2013 | Competitions, Events, News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Sweet Pea Valerie Harrod

Presenting the Sweet Pea Valerie Harrod

Visitors to Mr Fothergill’s sweet pea competition, held at Capel Manor College in early July 2013, had the opportunity not only to see plenty of beautiful blooms grown by everyday gardeners and serious exhibitors, but also to vote for their all-round favourite from a selection of 12 varieties presented for their inspection. It may only have been a bit of fun, but the company took notice of the ‘people’s choice’ and is now offering seed of Valerie Harrod on its website.

Valerie Harrod was a runaway winner, so we felt he had to offer it in our range”, explained Mr Fothergill’s technical manager Tracy Collacott, who staged the blooms for the public vote. “It’s a smashing orange pink variety and the most successful exhibition variety in its colour, so it makes sense to offer it. On top of that, it is large flowered and well scented”.

In second place was the lavender-flowered Maestro, bred by the late and renowned Bernard Jones, and in third place was Mr Fothergill’s Chelsea Centenary, which it launched in 2013 to mark the 100th birthday of the Chelsea Flower Show. A ‘multiflora’ bearing up to seven blooms per stem, Chelsea Centenary is also a lavender variety and was shortlisted for the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year.

To buy seed of Sweet Pea Valerie Harrod go to  A packet of 20 seeds costs £2.45.