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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

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Sweet pea ‘Villa Roma Scarlet’: New award-winner

Posted by Graham Rice on 10 Nov 2010 at 01:12 PM

Sweet pea,'Villa Roma Scarlet',Fleuroselect,Gold Medal,2011. Image: ©FleuroselectFleuroselect is the Europe-wide organisation which grows new varieties of seed-raised plants, mostly annuals, and gives awards to the very best of them. The plants are grown on about thirty locations right across Europe and assessed by a team of experts at each. The closest existing variety is grown alongside for comparison.

Just two Gold Medals have been awarded for 2011 and for the first time, after two years of trials in a range of climatic conditions across Europe, the Gold Medal has been awarded to a sweet pea - ‘Villa Roma Scarlet’.

This is the latest in a line of dwarf and bushy sweet peas that began with the introduction of ‘Cupid Pink’ way back in 1898. Ideal for the front of the border and for containers, ‘Villa Roma Scarlet’ reaches only about 14in/35cm in height but branches well to create a rounded plant with real impact.

The judges across Europe were impressed by its very bright colouring, its excellent performance in the garden and its ability to continue blooming through the heat of summer; it flowers profusely from July to September from a spring sowing. And on top of all that, unlike many dwarf sweet peas, it’s well scented.

You can order seed of sweet pea ‘Villa Roma Scarlet’ from Suttons and from Plants of Distinction, and four colours in the Villa Roma Series from Dobies.

The other Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner for 2011 is Zinnia ‘Zahara Double Fire’.


sue1002 said:

How many were planted together in that picture please? as these look ideal for a lovely hanging basket display.

on 10 Nov 2010 at 07:22 PM

Graham Rice said:

Yes, Sue, they look great for baskets. Just a little more vigorous than the Cupids. I'm not sure how many plants grew to the display in the picture, but I'd guess that four plants in a 12in/30cm basket should be about right.

on 10 Nov 2010 at 10:06 PM

sue1002 said:

Thanks Graham.

on 11 Nov 2010 at 06:03 PM