Taking the best performance and fragrance of the Victorian Grandiflora varieties and making it bigger and better, Cathy has the Spencer characteristics of strong long-stalked racemes that might bear up to four frilly flowers, each that can grow up to 4-5 cm wide. The colour is a.rich clotted cream and the flowers are very fragrant in that piercing way that sweet peas take one back to sunny afternoons in the countryside. The foliage is grey-green and petite. Cathy will reliably reach up to 2m high if you continue to tie in the stalks as she grows. While frilly sweet peas are very gorgeous, some prefer the strictly more demure old fashioned sweet peas in which case peruse the rest of our list of sweet peas.
Cathy's bridal colouring and long stems make her a dead cert if you want to grow sweet peas for a wedding or anniversary.....or just to appeal to the Romantic in you. While being pale in colour she does not look wishy-washy when combined with more showy, bright colours nor does she overwhelm a bunch of other pastel sweet peas. As importantly, sweet peas are often overlooked when it comes to herbaceous borders but it is worth being creative - an iron support swathed with Cathy sweet peas mid-border looks spectacular because with the Grandiflora heritage she produces flowers right down to the bottom of her stems. In the main, people grow sweet peas for cutting which is best done first thing in the morning and by cutting the stalks at a slight slant. Leave them to soak in a bucket for a few hours before arranging them. Cathy looks wonderful with creamy or pale pink roses and a few sprigs of rosemary for greenery.
Cathy was grown by Unwins in 2003 and was named after Emily Bronte's heroine, Cathy, of Wuthering Heights fame - although to be fair most people will probably be more familiar with Cathy from Kate Bush's unforgettable song - Heathcliff.....but even that may be a test too far, or just date one!