Sweet Pea - Why grow in Autumn?
Sweet peas sown in the autumn start to flower up to a month earlier than spring sown plants, generally in late May or early June. With the right care they will continue to flower throughout the summer, giving an almost endless supply of cut flowers. Having developed slowly over the winter, they benefit from much stronger root systems and begin the season with a head start. Of course you can plant seeds straight in the ground where you want them to grow in March or April or start them in a cold frame or greenhouse and harden off as soon as the seedling appear, planting out soon after pinching out the tops: they can flower fro mid June/July. We have been known to start ours even later than this and have had flowers into the autumn
We stock Spencer Sweet Peas: all are descended from a chance discovery made in 1901 by the head gardener Althorp Park, the estate of the Earl of Spencer. These are the first choice for exhibitors and are wonderful in the garden too. They come in a range of colours, have large flowers with four to five blooms to a stem and all are very fragrant. We also have two "old-fashioned" varieties which have smaller and less frilly flowers than the Spencers but are also beautifully fragrant