Our donor was given the seed by his neighbour, who in turn had acquired them from a past member of the Bullroyd Allotment Association, Bradford, where the pea had been successfully grown for many years. Dense plants reach 1.5-1.8m in height, producing pink and purple flowers and pods full of large, tasty peas. Guardian Michael Blake enjoyed their “old-fashioned” flavour and found them particularly tasty in a pea and cauliflower curry.
This variety dates back to at least 1945 and was sent by Allman Brothers Ltd, Nurseries, to Wisley for trial in 1947. A maincrop, dwarf variety growing to around 45cm in height. Produces white flowers and blunt, fibrous pods containing 4-5 seeds in each. Wonderfully sweet straight from the pod, and tasty when cooked too.
Bred by British seedsmen Carters, of Raynes Park, London. The 1.5m plants produce masses of white flowers followed by pods borne in pairs. Don't let their relatively small size put you off, they are packed with peas! Let us know what you think of the flavour.
This heirloom variety has been grown on our donor's great grandfather's farm in Co. Tyrone since at least 1850 (but possibly as far back as 1815). This tall (around 1.6m), prolific and vigorous pea produces beautiful pale pink and rich maroon flowers followed by a heavy crop of purple pods. The peas have a sweet and smooth flavour, becoming even sweeter when cooked. Sow to harvest 100 days (approx.)
One of the many varieties donated by John Yeoman, the name of this variety translates from the Hungarian as sugar peas. It produces medium-sized plants, 1-1.4m in height with white flowers and pods containing up to 8 peas. Let us know what you think of the flavour.
Thought to have been introduced in 1893 this vigorous pea can grow to 2-3m tall and carries large foliage, so will need sturdy supports. The large, blunt pods can be eaten as mangetout when immature, but are best when the pods are just full, yielding large sweet peas that freeze well.
Syn. Maincrop Marrowfat. This late, maincrop variety was bred and introduced by WG Holmes in 1895. The vigorous plants grow to about 1.2-1.5m in height, are reliable and hardy and show real drought resistance, no signs of mildew either. White flowers are followed by long pods packed with very sweet, tender peas (8-11 per pod).
Traditional pea unique to the farm communities of the Northern Netherlands. The name is derived from the Capuchin monks, who are said to have developed this type of pea in the 1500s. This compact variety (approximately 1m) has pretty, fragrant bicolour pink and violet flowers and large, starchy peas, perfect for drying and using as mushy peas.
Thought to have originated in Gayton, Northamptonshire and developed from Knights Tall Green Marrow. According to Peas of New York (1928) some seeds made their way to Northampton-based seed merchant Messrs Jeyes, who marketed the variety as Jeyes Conquerer. A tall pea (1.8-2.1m) producing white flowers and a heavy crop of large, sweet, solid peas tightly packed in their pods. Delicious fresh, but will also freeze very well, maintaining their flavour.
Our donors grandfather was given this pea in the 1940s in Sevenoaks, Kent, and the family have grown it ever since. Its attractive bicoloured flowers start off maroon/pink, turning blue on maturing, and are followed by small, crisp, sweet pods, perfect for eating as mangetout, or allowing to develop a little more and using as sweet fresh peas. Pauline Pears says, “The best pea I have ever grown.”