Sweet Pea - Wiltshire Ripple
This Spencer type has eye-catching and distinctive, striped blooms with a good scent. Wiltshire Ripple was introduced in the early 1980s, and is excellent for cutting. This hardy annual reaches the height of 180cm.
Sow indoors for surest results, from January-March or September-October, 1.5cm deep, 5 seeds per 12cm pot of compost. Water well and place in a cold frame, greenhouse or cool windowsill. A temperature of 15°C is ideal. Keep moist. Seedlings usually appear in 12-21 days. Pinch out the growing tip, when two pairs of leaves have formed, to encourage bushy growth. Gradually accustom young plants to outside conditions, avoiding frosts, before planting out into well-drained soil, March-May, 30cm apart. Support with tall canes or netting. Or, sow outdoors for ease, April-May, where they are to flower, 1.5cm deep, directly into finely-prepared, well-drained soil, which has already been watered. Sow 2 seeds together, every 30cm. Remove the weaker seedling, which can then be transplanted. Seeds sown in autumn generally flower earlier the following year. Flowers from May to October. Pick blooms regularly to prolong the flowering season.