This variety is an old Swedish landrace producing pretty white flowers followed by a healthy crop of tasty, large, fat pods with an average of 6 peas in each. Grows to more than 2m in height and is very productive. The peas themselves are large and incredibly sweet when raw, maintaining their flavour when cooked. Sow to harvest 90 days (approx.)
An unusual variety with white flowers and edible tendrils that resemble curled parsley, and are a perfect addition to salads. The plants grow up to a metre in height, but will need tying to pea sticks as the tendrils will not cling to supports as with other peas. The plump pods produce 6-7 sweet flavoured peas which are delicious cooked and even better straight from the pod.
A Dutch dwarf variety grown locally to produce dried peas and used in the same ways as dried beans. A short pea, reaching only around 1m in height, so ideal for small spaces. Pretty white flowers are flushed with pink as they mature. The pods are sweet and succulent if picked young, but this is really a drying pea. Does well even in drought conditions.
Our donor had grown this variety on his farm in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, since the 1950s; however, he was originally given the seeds by a Mr Robinson, who had acquired them in Scotland. The vigorous plants (>2m) produce long, slim, slightly curved pods over a long season. Extraordinarily sweet, retaining their flavour even when frozen. Guardian and Garden Organic Trustee Adam Alexander says, “The finest pea I grow.”
No, not a Bernard Cornwell novel featuring the dashing soldier fighting in the Napoleonic war, but a rare variety of pea. Sharpe & Co, Seed Merchants, were based in Sleaford, Lincolnshire from 1913 to 1983. Growing up to 2m in height, this vigorous, hardy variety produces white flowers followed by a good crop of shortish, blunt pods containing 6-7 round seeded peas in each.
Donated by Rural Life Museum, Dereham, Norfolk. They were given the seeds by the late Mr Simpson, who worked on the Petworth Estate, West Sussex, where this variety had been grown since at least the 1940s. A tall (>2m), productive pea with a long season. Produces delicate white flowers followed by a generous yield of large curved pods packed with marrowfat-type peas that remain tasty even when large. Sow to harvest 110 days (approx.)
Developed by the famous plant breeder Thomas Laxton in 1872. Introduced in 1898, it received an Award of Merit from the RHS in 1901. A very early cropping, first early variety producing compact plants (1-1.5m in height) with pods borne in pairs that Sutton & Sons’ 1940 catalogue describes as being “filled with peas of excellent flavour”. Sow to harvest 80 days (approx.)
Probably introduced by Suttons in the 1960s, it is listed in their 1970s catalogue as a 'Continental Variety'. Growing to 1-1.5m in height the strong, sturdy and productive vines have beautiful bicoloured pink and magenta flowers followed by plump purple pods solidly packed with sweet green peas. Seed Guardian Judith Reid comments, “lovely flowers and a full-bodied pea. Well worth growing!” Sow to harvest 110 days (approx.)
Named after our donor, this pea has been grown in Sidmouth, Devon for decades. Reaching more than 2m in height the vigorous vines produce white flowers, pale foliage and long pods (up to 15cm) each containing 9-12 large peas. All the Guardians who have grown this variety comment on the sweetness of the peas. Guardian Eluned Paramor adds, “This is a handsome pea. Tastes delicious raw and not affected by pests (except humans!)”.
This variety was given to our donor by a fellow member of the Northern Ireland Organic Gardening Society. He had personally saved the variety since the 1970s; however, they have been grown for three generations in Ireland. A tall pea (up to 2.5m) with creamish-white flowers and slightly curved green pods packed full of large, sweet peas. Guardian Jackie Newey says, “No stopping these peas, they just kept on growing and flowering!”