Sweet Pea 'Painted Lady'
First named in 1737, Painted Lady was one of the very first sweet peas to bred by plant enthusiasts in the mid eighteenth century. Still a favourite for gardeners today for its unique bicolour flower, a bright pink standard matched with pale white wings beneath. Delicate and highly scented with strong stems for cut flowers arrangements.
Sweet Peas prefers a sunny open position in the garden in a soil enriched with aged compost and decomposed manure. Ideally, soils should have a pH around 7 or above for optimal growth as they dislike acidic soils. Sweet Peas attach readily to any open structure that they can get their tendrils around, from simple wire fencing, to cane tepees and elaborate arbours and lattice work. It is important to set up any support before sowing or transplanting so as to avoid damaging the young seedlings as they establish. Sow seed either insitu, or in trays for transplanting. Direct sowing works very well for spring and summer sowings, while indoor sowing is best in autumn. Protect young seedlings from snails, especially during the cooler months. As they begin to flower, it is important to water regularly during dry periods and pick the flowers to prolong flowering.