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Sweet Peas


All About Cleeve Magazine - Plant of the Month - Sweet Peas


There is nothing more evocative than the smell of freshly cut sweet peas and with so many varieties to choose from, you can feel like a kid in a sweet shop! Spencer types tend to have large frilly flowers and long stems and Grandiflora are highly scented. Many modern varieties are bred to combine both.


Its Latin name, Lathyrus odoratus, means fragrant pea and many varieties live up to their name. For intense scent try L. 'Matucana,' reportedly the strongest scented sweet pea in the world! ‘Hi Scent,’ ‘Lipstick,’ ‘Almost Black’ and ‘Painted Lady’ also pack a punch …and of course who can resist ‘Percy Thrower?’

The key to an endless summer floral display is keep cutting. This annual climber will continue flowering if cut and will stop if goes to seed. So an easy way to extend your season is to keep filling vases with sweet peas. Keen for long straight stems? Cut off the tendrils, is will stop stem distortion.


Growing from seed is a cost effective way to fill your garden with blooms, sowing seed October – November or January - April but plugs and established plants are great for instant colour or see if a kind gardening friend will give you a bunch!

All photos © Debi Holland 2021