Sweet Peas - The Sweet Smell of a Mammoth

The sweet peas are coming to an end.
The stems are getting shorter and there is more than a little late infestation of green fly, but they have been magnificent and as they say “owe us nothing".
I have always loved sweet peas. They have been an annual highlight and the first few blooms are always eagerly awaited and their scent inhaled with a pleasure and nostalgia.
Mammoth Mixed
We are the only nursery I know that sells sweet pea plants in individual sweet pea tubes and in individual colours.
Until this year we have always planted the left overs. By that I mean that after we have sold some thousands of sweet peas, the ones left are those that have lost a label, taken a knock or are an unfashionable colour, and so, in they go, supported by a few hazel branches.
This year Donald experimented with a variety bred especially for poly-tunnels and they were planted in an orderly row and wired up. As reported, they have been wonderful.
The variety is called Mammoth - not a pretty name. The plants are vigorous, the stems have been long and straight, the flowers have been huge and have kept coming, but the most wonderful thing has been the wonderful, pleasurable fragrance. The scent of these sweet peas meets you at the door and is a rare pleasure as you cut the blooms.
In water the flowers have lasted almost a week, a long spell for sweet peas , and we have had a big enough crop that we have been sending bunches to market. We will certainly be growing them again next year.
Mammoth is, as I said, especially bred for indoor, poly tunnel cropping. Outdoors we are still recommending the old Spencer varieties as they are the hardiest and have the best colour range that we know.
My favourites have to be the lovely white Honeymoon, and the deep crimson Winston Churchill.
In addition to the Spencers we grow Old Spice mixed, smaller flowers, with a heady, almost tropical, spicy scent. We also grow a single old variety called Matucana. This has deep purple and red flushed flowers and the most remarkable scent of all.

Winston Churchill

Most folks in the north of the United Kingdom plant their Sweet Pea seed early spring. We often get them in late February/ March ..... but you can plant in autumn on the hope of an early start and early flowers. Always keep your seedlings up and away from mice; they seem to smell them a thousand yards away. Early spring means the day ends with a patrol of many mouse traps.

The seedlings are very hardy and do not need cosseting. However this past spring was so cold in April that it certainly put them back and they were looking very pinched for a while, before they grew away strongly.
Sweet peas love a rich soil and if you are organised enough to know where you will be planting them next year, then this an excellent time to dig a trench and fill it with as much homemade compost and animal manure as you can get your hands on. They will love the rich diet and will reward you with months of undiluted pleasure.

Autumn Shrub Sale At Abriachan

Tuesday 11th- Tuesday 18th September
£5 each or any 4 plants for £15 (Buy 3 get 1 free)
(Nursery Only Offer - No Mailorder Available For Offer)

I asked Don for a couple of shrub names to give a flavour of some of the shrubs available and got given this rather substantial list - so here we go, have a wee look, there is bound to be something to suit and plenty more at the Nursery
Viburnum bodnatense dawn
All good shrubs that do very well in Highland Gardens
Good autumn colour
Spirea firelight
Parotia persica

Two antipodeans
Prostrantera cuneata ... Australian hardy shrub
Pittosporum cuneata ... From New Zealand

Great variegated Hollies
Ilex Silver Queen
Ilex Northern Lights

Showy brooms
Cytisus Goldfinch
Cytisus hollandia

New Zealand hollies, great for coastal and windy gardens
Olearia macrodonta
Olearia haastii

Another two evergreens that are wonderful in windy and coastal gardens and flower all summer
Escallonia iveyi
Escallonia macrantha

And Beautiful summer flowering shrubs
Lavatera olbia rosea
Deutzia Pink Pom Pom
Weigelia Bristol Ruby
Weigelia florida variegata

And wonderful spring flowering shrubs
Ceonothus Concha …… A heavenly blue
Kolkwitzia amabilis

And a selection of Rhododendrons

Loved by butterflies
Buddleia Black Knight
Buddleia Loch Insh

Shrubs for winter flowering
Sarcocca confusa
Viburnum bodnatense dawn
Olearia macrodonta
Phew - Get in quick, the Great Shrub Sale only lasts for one week !

Autumn Supplement

It is Autumn at Abriachan and that means it is time for our Autumn Supplement crammed full of great offers.
Primula Scotica
At the end of summer we have rows and rows of plants that we have propagated over the summer. We like to offer them at a really good price before we pot on.
I also know that many of you have been waiting for some of the precious Auriculas and Primroses, as we sold out early in the spring.
So VoilĂ !
Auricula Grey Monarch

Alongside them are some plants that really appreciate being planted in autumn, Digitalis ( Foxgloves), Hellebores and Candelabra Primroses.

Digitalis purpurea alba

We are also selling good range of Schizostylis (Kaffir Lilies) These blooms are wonderful in the autumn garden, glowing and providing border colour to catch the eye in the late summer sunlight.
Once owned always  loved.
Schizostylus coccinea major
 We hope you find something to tempt you,

Click here to go direct to the website where you can order online,
Click here to download the autumn supplement pdf (order form included)

Don has done a wonderful job taking photographs of the auriculas this year and the website is looking a lot more colourful with all the thumbnail photos (Click on a thumbnail to see a larger photo of the plant), we hope this is a helpful aid to choosing some new plants, sometimes reading descriptive text only can be a bit dry, so we are doing our best to  gradually add photos of every plant we sell.
Best Wishes,
The Davidson Family
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