Thought to have been developed by Harrison some time before 1855, when it was first offered by Sutton & Sons. By the 1860s it was available as far afield as New Zealand and the USA. Also listed in EW King & Co Catalogue of 1898. This early/second early pea can get very tall, so will require staking. Produces white flowers with green veins followed by green pods with 4-5 tasty peas in each.
Our donor's father acquired these peas from Mr Herbie Nicholson. Herbie had grown the variety since the late 1990s in Northumberland after being given them by an elderly lady whose garden he tended. She told him that they had been passed from generation to generation for many years in the Bedlington/Choppington area. The tall vines (1.8m) grow rapidly after germination, producing bicolour pink flowers followed by purple pods and pale green peas with a flavour very similar to a processed pea. They also freeze well.
This is a tall variety that needs strong pea sticks to support the large pods produced. They were grown for many years on the Llanover Estate in Wales from seeds brought to the UK by a German prisoner of war (WWI). Once the war was over he returned to marry a Welsh girl and continued to work on the estate. Produces white flowers and pods filled with small, sweet peas.
This vigorous, tall pea (>2m) produces bicoloured pink and maroon flowers followed by large purple pods, easy to find amid the light green foliage. If picked young the pods are delicious as mangetout; when mature the peas taste deliciously sweet straight from the pod, retaining their flavour when cooked.
This was one of the first hardy wrinkled peas, introduced in 1847 and reaching a peak of popularity in the 1860s and 1870s. Pods are dark, borne in pairs and, according to RHS trials in 1860, abundant. We agree. It is also a tall variety (>2m), producing large peas with a fine, sweet flavour delicious when popped straight from the pod. Sow to harvest 90-100 days (approx.)
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.