PLEASE NOTE: Since plants are often sourced from the garden to order, sizes do vary a little, depending on how they come out of the ground, but I always endeavour to give a little more rather than less! They are sometimes shipped bare-rooted, but will approximate the size specified (e.g. a 9cm pot).
|Lathyrus sativus var. azureus|
|King Tutankhamun's pea, Indian Vetch, Chickling Pea, Grass Pea|
|My favourite sweet pea, despite the fact that is has no scent. Rumoured to originate here in the UK from seeds found by Harold Carter, the Egyptologist, in Tutankhamun's tomb, the small flowers are a delicate clear sky-blue, with pink centres. A small plant by sweet pea standards, it looks lovely tumbling out of hanging baskets. I usually cut the plants back to within a few inches of the soil after the first, early flush of flowers are spent, which encourages many new shoots and flowers well into late summer. The plant will flourish in the conditions usually required of sweet peas, but can withstand both very dry and waterlogged conditions. For this reason it is used as a food source in parts of the world prone to conditions that lead to famine, although if eaten in quantity for prolonged periods it is highly toxic to humans, causing paralysis and brain damage.|
|Sowing and/or growing instructions|
|Nick the seed coating and plant in spring under glass an inch deep (sweet peas need darkness to aid germination) in pots of compost, either singly, or 20 or so to a 3in pot, to be pricked out later. Keep moist. Pinch out growing tips when 3 or 4 true leaves have formed. Plant out in a sunny position in rich, moist, soil or compost, providing support in the form of wigwams or netting (unless you wish to treat them as a trailing plant in baskets). Much could be said on the subject of sweet pea growing, but I will mention only the bare bones here - that sweet peas need humus-rich soil, moisture, sunshine and feeding, and regular picking or dead-heading to encourage repeat flowering. Much more information can be found elsewhere online for those who wish to research the subject more thoroughly.|