Lathyrus odoratus 'Gwendoline'
spencer sweet pea seed
- available to order from late autumn
- approx 20 seeds
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: June to September
- Hardiness: hardy annual
Creamy-white petals, which look like they have been dipped in pink icing sugar, form luscious sprays of flowers that appear in profusion in summer. This headily-scented variety looks great scrambling over an obelisk or sprawling over a hospitable, neighbouring shrub. Cut the flowers to fill your home with perfume, or leave them outside for the bees buzz about.
In our (not very scientific) sweet pea trial on the nursery, we found that this variety had very pretty flower colour and was highly scented. There were not too many flowers left in August, and what there was had a stem length of around 6 - 8".
All the sweet-peas in our trial produced significantly better plants when the seeds were sown in autumn rather than spring.
- Garden care: From October to late March, sow seeds into pots filled with good-quality seed compost and place them in a cold frame. Pinch out the tips as the plants grow to encourage them to become bushier, and harden off before planting out in a sunny spot from April onwards. Direct sowings can be made in October or March. It is important to remove the faded flowers before they set seed, so picking them to fill a vase will only encourage more to form.
- Sow: September-March
- Flowering: June-September