Floral thrill seekers will look for more unusual varieties and Raspberry Flake satisfies that criterion. It is a Spencer sweet pea and so has those long straight stems with generous numbers of flowers per stem. Each flower is much larger than the old-fashioned type of sweet pea and Raspberry Flake has a gentle ripple to its petals rather than a fussy frill. The petals are however what grabs your attention because suffusing the overall white colour on both sides are random flushes or streaks of red that become more concentrated towards the centre of the flower. There is no picotee edge but the flake effect is distinctive and attractive. Raspberry Flake also possesses a good sweet pea fragrance and is a reliable performer with a reputation for being a prolific flowerer - as is pretty much the whole of our range of hand sown sweetpeas.
Try inverting a cone of supports into a large pot and grow this sweet pea up it for your summer terrace showstopper. Not only will you have a source of wonderful flowers for a bedside table but the Raspberry Flake flowers are so fascinating that you really might not have to bother with anything else floral on your terrace at all. Raspberry Flake is an original addition to the cutting garden and works well with Albutt Blue with its navy picotee or White Supreme. If your tastes lie with the more traditional sweet peas, then America is another red and white flake that might appeal to you.
William Unwin, and then his son Charles, were interested in creating varieties that veered away from plain colours to more unusual patterns - rather like tulip breaking virus produced streaks on tulips. They bred flaked and striped varieties which became the height of fashion between the world wars. We are seeing a huge revival of interest in these styles of sweet pea now.