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How to create a sweet pea pot display

You will need

  • Sweet pea 'Spencer Mix' or 'Cupani' x3
  • Variegated felicia, Felicia amelloides 'Variegata' x5
  • Sutera cordata 'Snowflake' x5
  • 55cm pot
  • Willow plant support
  • John Innes No.3 compost
  • Multi-purpose compost


Sweet peas are the classic annual climber and look just as lovely in pots as they do in a border. 'Spencer Mix' has large flowers and long stems, good for cutting, but 'Cupani' and 'Painted Lady' are particularly good as their short stems give good coverage of the support and they're extremely fragrant.

The cottage garden-style display is enhanced with trailing Sutera cordata 'Snowflake' and the variegated leaves of Felicia amelloides 'Variegata'.

Plant it: sow sweet peas in February, pot on in April, plant out in June
At its best: summer
Takes just: an hour

How to do it:

1 Plant up pots in position as they'll be heavy to move later. Put a few bits of broken pot over the drainage hole to stop compost washing away while allowing excess water to drain.

2 Fill your large pot up to about two-thirds full of compost. Use a half-and-half blend of John Innes No.3 and multi-purpose compost, to ensure a balanced potting mix.

3 Make a hole in the centre of the compost, remove climbers from their pots and plant 15cm apart. Firm the compost around the climbers, making sure there are no air pockets around the rootballs.

4 Place the willow support carefully over the top of the climbers. Push the legs firmly into the compost, ensuring the structure is even by checking the support's bands are horizontal.

5 Plant the felicia and Sutera cordata around the pot's rim to complement the colours of the climbers.

6 Encourage the sweet pea onto the support by tying stems with soft twine to the willow, leaving some give in the twine so that the stems don't break in the wind and have space to grow.

Our tip

Remove fading flowers, using scissors or secateurs to cut the flowering stem back to where it joins the main stem

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