Lathyrus odoratus 'Gwendoline'
spencer sweet pea
- available to order from autumn
- 4 plants
- These sweet peas are autumn sown and grown in root trainers to promote longer deep roots. They have been grown under a cold polythene tunnel and whilst they are hardy, they are still young and do need that extra bit of protection on cold nights for the first few weeks. Wrap them in some good quality horticultural fleece or bring them in to an unheated greenhouse or conservatory for the night.
- 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: Incorporate lots of well-rotted organic matter in the planting hole. Feed with a high potash fertiliser, such as Tomorite for plenty of flowers and keep cutting them so that you get plenty more!