Posts Tagged ‘Sweet Pea’

Patio sweet pea mysteries

November 1st, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Sweet Pea 'Balcony Mix' and 'Teresa Maureen' (inset)

Something slightly odd has been happening with sweet peas recently. It’s not so very long ago that the genuinely dwarf varieties, especially ‘Cupid’ and varieties like it that only grew about 15cm high, were widely popular. I remember going to visit a wholesale grower a few years back and he had many thousands of potfuls ready to go to garden centres. But they’ve mostly disappeared.

On top of that, the medium height patio varieties reaching about 90cm and ideal for tubs and other containers… Well, they haven’t disappeared altogether but there are far fewer around then there used to be. But there are some.

One of the prettiest of all sweet peas falls into this category. ‘Teresa Maureen’ (inset, above) reaches about 1m in height and although the flowers are small they’re both prolific and strongly scented – and such a lovely combination of purple tints, veins and picotee set against a white background.

The other patio sweet pea to look out for is ‘Balcony Mix’ (background, above). This is a blend featuring fragrant white flowers prettily patterned in a range of stripes and streaks.

The other unexpected thing about these plants, apart from the fact that relatively few varieties are now available, is that they’ve been particularly recommended for sowing later than other sweet peas. Sow now, by all means, but seed can also be sown in January as long as you have a cold frame or even simply a cloche (not to mention a mousetrap and organic slug pellets) to provide protection.

For these shorter varieties that have a less extensive root system as well as shorter top growth, I sow five or six seeds in 12cm pots and plant the whole pot in a container in spring. This is the way to grow sweet peas in small spaces.

Mr Fothergill’s launches new Sweet Pea Mayflower 400

August 19th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill's Sweet Pea Mayflower 400 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyageAt its August Press Day, leading sweet pea seed supplier Mr Fothergill’s introduced a new and exclusive Spencer variety for the forthcoming season as part of the 400th anniversary commemoration of the sailing of the Mayflower to the new world in 1620. Sweet Pea Mayflower 400 (RRP £2.40 for 20 seeds) is a Spencer type, bred by world renowned hybridiser Keith Hammett, and produces frilly flowers in a pastel pink flake on a cream background. It is vigorous and free flowering, with a high scent.

The Mayflower transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth to the ‘New World’ of America in 1620. All 102 passengers, from England and Holland, established a Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Their story is one of suffering and survival in a harsh environment.  The Voyage is one of the most famous in early American history.

John Stirland naming Sweet Pea Mayflower 400 at Mr Fothergill's Press Day 2019

Mr Fothergill’s Commercial Director, Tim Jeffries said, “A full and exciting programme of events is being planned for 2020 to celebrate the sailing of the Mayflower. We are delighted to have a great relationship with breeder Keith Hammett to obtain this wonderful sweet pea Mayflower 400 and by introducing it now gardeners can celebrate with blooms in the anniversary year.”

Chief Executive of Mayflower 400, Charles Hackett commented on the new sweet pea, “I am delighted that the commemoration of the Mayflower’s voyage will be marked by having its own sweet pea named “Mayflower 400”. The breadth of events and activities marking this historic voyage is incredible and to have our own sweet pea flowering in the commemoration year will add another unique aspect to the year of the Mayflower 400.”

Sweet pea seeds are available from Mr Fothergill’s retail stockists throughout the UK and from the company’s latest Seed Catalogue or online. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Ways with watering

July 5th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Sweet peas appreciate plenty of water

“Watering requires more care than is often given to it.” As we look back over a hundred years, so we read in the introduction to the fine old Annual & Biennial Garden Plants by A. E. Speer published in 1911.

“In dry weather a little sprinkling does more harm very often than good. The roots are attracted to the surface only to be burnt up by the hot rays of the sun. When watering do it thoroughly, so that it may go down to the roots, and not the roots up to the moisture.

“Some annuals, like Sweet Peas, especially if grown for exhibition, require copious watering, and occasionally with a little liquid manure added. Always water after the sun is off the plants; and it may be added, rain-water saved from a tub is preferable to water from a pipe. It is softer and not so cold.”

Good advice. My approach is to enrich the soil with organic matter by mulching and working in weed-free compost when planting so the soil retains as much moisture as possible.

I’m also very keen on spot watering and spot feeding individual plants as they need it. Tomatoes, courgettes, outdoor cucumbers, sweet peas and dahlias in particular appreciate a regular drench and to make this easier, when planting, I create a shallow dip into which the plants are set. This collects water and feed where it’s needed and prevents it running away across the border.

The good Mr Speer is right when he says that “pipe” water can be very cold. But it’s also good to remember that the water in a hose pipe left out in the sun can also get very hot. Some gardeners line up filled watering cans one day for use the next, allowing the water to warm up.

Me? I think it’s more important to do it rather than not, and not to worry too much about the temperature. Either way, you’ll see the difference.

Mr Fothergill’s Names its New Sweet Pea Capel Manor After Well-Known College and Partner

January 8th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Leading sweet pea seed supplier Mr Fothergill’s has introduced a new and exclusive large flowered variety for the forthcoming season which has been named after Capel Manor, as it was to Dr Robert Uvedale, a schoolmaster at the college, to whom Franciscus Cupani sent the first sweet pea seeds to arrive in England, back in 1699.

Sweet Pea Capel Manor has large, frilly two-tone, deep purple-blue blooms that are lightly scented. This classic Spencer type sweet pea will add colour and create perfect displays when planted over trellis or fences. A packet of 20 seeds of Capel Manor is priced at £2.35.

Sweet Pea Capel Manor

Capel Manor College educates new generations of horticulturists offering a range of courses for those who are interested in plants, trees and environment. Mr Fothergill’s has a long-established relationship with the College working together to produce spring and summer display gardens and providing an award for exceptional students every year.

Among other new Sweet Peas introduced in the 2018-2019 season is the gorgeous dwarf and compact Teresa Maureen, with RRP at £2.35 for 20 seeds. This highly scented variety stands out from other Lathyrus odoratus with a mass of small flowers in pink, white and lavender shades.

Sweet Pea Balcony Mixed is a stunning blend of large white frilly blooms with coloured markings in red, orange, pink, blue, purple and magenta. This versatile, scented variety is perfect for large patio pots. A packet of 20 seeds of Balcony Mixed is priced at £2.35.

Sweet Pea Terry Wogan distinguishes itself with an incredible warm salmon rose colour which is more intense on the petal edges. It produces large fragrant blooms that makes it one of the nation’s favourite cultivars.

Sweet Pea Teresa MaureenSweet Pea Balcony MixSweet Pea Terry Wogan

All sweet peas are available from Mr Fothergill’s retail stockists throughout the UK and from the company’s latest Seed Catalogue or online. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Mr Fothergill’s Name New Sweet Pea after Capel Manor

August 15th, 2018 | News | 1 Comment

mr-fothergills-new-sweet-pea-honours-capel-manor-college

We are delighted to introduce our new and exclusive large flowered variety of Sweet Pea for the forthcoming season which honours education provider Capel Manor. With large frilly two-tone deep purple blue blooms that are lightly scented, this vibrant classic Spencer type Sweet Pea will add colour and create perfect displays when planted over trellis or fences.

capel-manor-college-principal-malcolm-goodwin-unveils-new-sweet-pea-at-press-day

The new Sweet Pea was officially named at our annual press day by Malcolm Goodwin, Principal at Capel Manor College. Capel Manor College educates new generations of horticulturists, offering a range of courses for those who are interested in plants, trees and environment. We have a fantastic long-standing relationship with the College, working together to produce spring and summer display gardens. We also provide an award for their exceptional students every year.

Mr-Fothergills-Teresa-Maureen-seeds-are-new-to-our-Sweet-Pea-range Mr-Fothergills-Balcony-Mixed-seeds-are-new-to-our-Sweet-Pea-range Mr-Fothergills-Terry-Wogan-seeds-are-new-to-our-Sweet-Pea-range

Among other new Sweet Peas introduced in the 2018-2019 season we have the gorgeous dwarf and compact Teresa Maureen. This highly scented variety stands out from other Lathyrus odoratus with a mass of small flowers in pink, white and lavender shades.

Sweet Pea Balcony Mixed is a stunning blend of large white frilly blooms with coloured markings in red, orange, pink, blue, purple and magenta. This versatile, scented variety is perfect for large patio pots.

Sweet Pea Terry Wogan distinguishes itself with an incredible warm salmon rose colour which is more intense on the petal edges. It produces large fragrant blooms that make it the nation’s favourite cultivar.

A packet of 20 seeds are priced at just £2.35. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.