Spencer growers not so sweet on Monty Don after scent claim in newspaper

Monty Don has upset sweet pea growers over an article in the Daily Mail last week.

Stafford-based Eagle Sweet Peas owner Derek Heathcote said Don writing that Spencer sweet peas had little or no scent was not good for the public perception of the flower.

Heathcote said: "I don't know where he is getting his information from, but it is incorrect. It's not good for growers and seed merchants for him to be spouting that all the time."

RHS Award of Garden Merit notes say Spencers are "strong scented". Another sweet pea expert, who did not want to be named, added: "It is not the first time he has said this, but I don't know how he can say such a thing.

"Scores of Spencer sweet peas bred in the past 30 years have wonderful perfume. Charlie's Angel, Gwendoline, Jilly and Arthur Hellyer are just four that spring to mind, but there are plenty more".

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