Friday, December 30

Just when you think you have it cracked ...

For several years now I have been planting different varieties of sweet pea trying to find a mix that I liked.

I was looking for varieties that together created a mix of colours that I liked. I wanted most to have a good perfume - I would allow the odd one through without a perfume if the colour was exceptional as the perfume from others would compensate. Finally I wanted long, strong stems.

Last year I thought that I had cracked it and decided to buy the same varieties this year with the exception of maybe one that didn't do as well as the others.
What could be easier? No agonising over varieties - the choices were made. Out came the catalogue and cue disappointment.

Of the nine varieties that I bought last year only three were in this year's catalogue.
We buy most of our seeds from Kings and so I drew up this shortlist from their available varieties.
I wanted a good colour mix but had about two varieties too many after my first trawl so which two to drop?

In the end I dropped just one, Hannah Magovern as I didn't really need three reds. I'm sure that I'll be able to squeeze in the extra variety. All except for Midnight claim to be well or highly scented. Midnight scored on colour as I love the dark purple shades. The catalogue also claims that they are all good for cutting. We will see - what's the betting that, even if I like them, these varieties won't be available next year. If so any suggestions for alternatives?


19 comments:

  1. It's always a disappointment when the varieties we know and love disappear.
    Your choices are beautiful. Have you tried other seed houses to see if they might have them? And I'd certainly let this current company know how disappointed you were. They NEED to know that.
    Good luck, Sue

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    1. I had a quick look and the odd variety were elsewhere, Sue but considering postage it wasn't worth ordering just an odd packet. None of our regularly used suppliers had much to choose from.

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  2. Oh what a disappointment Sue :( Can you get the varieties in your original selection from elsewhere? I'm returning to sweet pea growing for 2017 as I'm going to grow more flowers so I can take them to mum... purples and scent are my top 2 criteria... haven't made a selection of varieties yet!

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    1. Nowhere that I looked had anything other than an odd pack, Michelle. Besides that we get a good discount from Kings as we order for a few in the allotment. We spend quite a lot on seeds as it is,

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  3. That's so annoying, isn't it. We didn't grow any sweet peas last year and the scent which usually fills the house was sorely missed. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. Christmas was uneventful which is as we like it, Jo. Will you grow sweet peas this year?

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    2. I'm not sure yet, space is limited here, I miss the ground we had at the plot.

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  4. How blinkin' irritating :(
    If one of your 'new' varieties turns out to be really brilliant, can I suggest saving some seed just in case it gets dropped from the 2018 catalogue?

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    1. Good idea, Jayne. I wonder whether they will come true or cross pollinate. I cut all the flowers and didn't have any left to collect seeds from this year.

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  5. I'm always on the lookout for the perfect combination too. I also love those dark plummy colours, and I haven't managed to find a deep bright pink to go with them this year, but that's a combination I like.

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    1. I really like the blues and lavenders too, CJ.

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  6. Thank you for our beautiful friendship blogging in 2016 !!
    I wish You and Your Family a Happy New Year 2017 !!

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  7. That is frustrating Sue, hope your new choices work for you. I've grown Midnight before its a great colour. I'm really loving the ones with delicate mottling on and edging colours this year. Have a look at Wiltshire Ripple looks great with Midnight.
    Happy New Year to you and your family, here's hoping we have a good growing year in 2017.

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    1. I'll look up Wiltshire Ripple, Annie. Here here to a good growing year.

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  8. Oh how annoying Sue! I would certainly let Kings know how disappointed you are. I've still got to sort out my seed box and see what remains from last year. I've grown 'Gwendoline' for the last couple of years and have been delighted with her. I have acquired a packet of 'Midnight' with one of the gardening mags so will be trying them this year for the first time as my darkest colour in my mix.






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    1. I remember growing Gwendoline before, Anna and seem to remember it positively

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  9. What wonderful sweet pea you have grown Sue. I do hope you will choose that you prefer most.
    Happy New year 2017! С Новым годом!

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