Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Yes, I still love growing peas!

There's a reason why this blog is called "Purple Podded Peas" –  I love to grow peas with purple pods

wigwams of beautiful colourful pea-pods make me smile

and this one is my favourite: Victorian Purple Podded

 The flowers are bi-colour, deep purple and bright mauve-pink; they are held on long sturdy stems above the blue-green foliage. The flower-stalks and nodes are burgundy – a giveaway that the pods will be purple.

 The pods are mainly in pairs and as they mature they become mottled with green. The long flower stalks mean that the pods are held away from the foliage, making a beautiful display of long purple pods.

 The average pod size is impressive!

"As alike as peas in a pod."

 As with all purple podded pea varieties, the peas inside the pods are green. 'Victorian Purple Podded' may not be the sweetest of peas but it wins on looks and is very tasty when picked and cooked fresh from the garden.




Not all the peas in my garden have purple pods . . .

here's another favourite: Golden Sweet

 Another wonderfully decorative pea, the flower stems are bright golden yellow, with a little pink tinge at the top and bottom. The foliage is a lovely bright pea-green and has attractive veining. The pink and purple flowers don't open fully and fade to shades of indigo.

You can see that the pods as mostly singles and the plant has a zig-zaggy appearance in contrast to the very up-right 'Victorian Purple Podded'.

 Often marketed as a mangetouts, I've let the pods mature; you can see that these softer pods curl as they grow fatter and the cosh (pod or shell) is soft and breaks easily.

 The small round peas are sweet of course!




  Every gardener needs a helper!


Celia
x


43 comments:

  1. Why oh why didn't I bring pea seeds back with me? I am growing boring green peas, which are doing quite poorly this year. Yours look beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Good question! I'm sure you will find some amazing heritage peas.

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  2. Yummy! So fat and juicy.
    How many get eaten rather than go in the pot when podding? ;-)

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  3. Thanks for posting this. I'm trying purple podded peas for the first time - Blauwschokker from Mr Fothergills.Having moved the more serious veg growing to the allotment I was looking for pretty and productive things to still grow at home. The flowers are similar but less of them. I posted about them on my blog yesterday with photos so you can see them. http://maryomsgarden.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/blue-peas.html I really like the idea of trying golden peas as well next year but I've never heard of either of your varieties. Are they difficult to obtain?

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    1. Most of my pea seed was from the Heritage Seed Library and I save seed of my favourites to grow each year.
      Golden Sweet is now available from Thomson & Morgan, who also sell a purple podded mange touts.

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  4. I do like looking at your garden, especially your assistant.

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  5. Beautiful peas - I'm so pleased the pigeons didn't win the battle entirely!

    Glad to see your assistant is working hard :-)

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    1. Yes, managed to save 2 out of 6 pea wigwags - sadly no Tutankhamun, Carruthers's or Salmon Flowered this year... such a shame.

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  6. Maybe one year you will print some lino patterned seed packets and package some pea seeds for those of us yet to sample these delight?

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    1. I have supplied lots of people with pea seeds... drop me a line if you're interested for next year. (I can't 'sell' the seed and the packets are stamped with a red 'Magic Cochin')

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  7. What a lovely post.. Your Victorian purple variety are so pretty, could you let me know where I can get some seed for next year? I would love to give them a try..

    I've been growing a very old variety called 'Champion of England' for the last three years, they grow to about 8'- 10' tall, although I think this year they will get even taller, what with all the rain we have had..

    They are extremely tasty, taken young and flat and taste wonderful as they mature.. Down side.. Not so pretty as your purple ladies..

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    1. I've heard of Champion of England, aren't tall pea varieties splendid! And you get a big crop on a small footprint.

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    2. A huge crop.. And still picking them every other day.. Amazing..

      Just heard of a company near where my daughter lives.. http://www.pennardplants.com have you heard of them?

      You might find it interesting..lOTS of lovely 'old variety' seeds..Pea's included..

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  8. they are truly beautiful aren't they? I love growing peas and beans... my broadbeans are soon to be ready and I can't wait!

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    Replies
    1. Hope you had a good broad bean crop :-)

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  9. these look amazing. I'm patiently waiting for the peas on my balcony to be ready!

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  10. Love your peas and your helper. Summer bliss! Kristina

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    1. The helper just had to get in the photo!

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  11. Celia, thank you so much for sharing these pictures of beauty in your garden, including the helpful assistant.

    The Victorian Purple Peas are very impressive. Every part of the plant has a shape and color that adds to entire effect. Your teepee really provides a wonderful stage for this summer performance.

    The mottled colorway of the maturing pod is rather wonderful. I wonder how many watercolors you've painted of these exquisite little pods over the years?

    I second the motion made above by Acorn Moon. It is a splendid idea!

    xo

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    1. Yes, the pods are beautiful as the mature from purple to a mottled green/purple mix - they look as if they've been painted in watercolour!

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  12. Your photo of peas in a pod is just divine (I hope you don't mind that I've pinned it?)
    I've never tried peas before which is crazy as they are one of the only two vegetables the teen of the house will eat. Maybe next year...

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    Replies
    1. That's fine... I've just started using Pinterest.

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  13. You've taken me right back to summers helping my Dad and my grandpa pick peas and being entrusted with the job of podding and always eating masses raw. I feel the sun on my back and smell the peas.

    Your peas look perfect, and thanks for the happy memories :D

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  14. They are just so pretty - I have always grown the same two boring old white flowered varieties - and have had excellent crops this year - but I feel a change coming on.

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    1. There are so many wonderful pea varieties, not all are heavy croppers but many are very decorative.

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  15. These both look fabulous Celia. Are they both heritage varieties or commercially easy to get hold of? The flowers on your purple podded plants are gorgeous. Peas don't fare too well here but looking at your photos so makes me wish they did!

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    1. I'm a member of Garden Organic's Heritage Seed Library, you are allowed 6 packets of seed a year selected from the catalogue. I always choose at least one different pea or bean a year and then save seed myself.

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  16. Oh I do wish the birds hadn't eaten my pea seedlings. I have managed to get some finally established. I hope they make it in time. Yours look great.

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  17. my purple podded peas that I won in your giveaway are flowering away beautifully and just showing glimpses of a pod or two. I am Very Excited about them!

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  18. Such a lovely blog! Your peas remind me of my childhood, picking peas and eating as many as I could before they made it to the cooking pot. Your assistant gardener is charming. I have one of those, too. I couldn't do without him. : )

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    1. Every child should experience picking and eating peas straight from the pod... and purple pods are more exciting!

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  19. Ooooh! how lovely, and they appear not to have been eaten by pests! I don't know if you have been as wet as we are in London but everything here is getting eaten to pieces! My Negritos beans germinated beautifully and despite protection they were all nibbled one night. I hope some manage to survive!

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    1. It was touch and go for a while, a lot of tlc and barricades made from holly branches were involved in the growing of these peas!

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  20. I grew some purple podded peas this year and despite the vagaries of the weather and pests they have done quite well but certainly don't look as pretty or healthy as yours. The leaves seem to be mottled with silver streaks and spots! But they taste nice:-)

    Jeanne
    x

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    1. That sound like the pea leaf miner... nasty little pest! But great that you have some peas to eat.

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  21. Any suggestions for *really* sweet coloured-pod peas? I had some good-cropping dwarf green peas this year but I'd like something to complement my Cosse Violette purple french beans and the Oskar were a bit too starchy once they got to any size at all. I like my peas to taste like candy and leave the stodge to my other legumes!

    Thanks,
    Zoe

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    Replies
    1. I suggest that you look at some of the modern pea varieties in the seed catalogues. Heritage varieties tend not to taste "like candy" (thank heavens!) and obviously only younger peas will be sweet, so harvest them young if you prefer the sweet flavour.

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