Wales

Royal Welsh Show: New sweet pea flower to be given Welsh name

John Rowlands with his plants
Image caption John Rowlands has been growing sweet peas on his Denbighshire farm for nine years

History will be made at the Royal Welsh Show later this month as a new variety of sweet pea is launched.

This new flower will have a Welsh name for the first time since the sweet pea arrived in Britain 300 years ago.

John Rowlands, originally from Bala, has been growing sweet peas on his Denbighshire farm for nine years.

He has 12 varieties in all and competes in shows locally and nationally, winning the Welsh Championship and Best Vase at the Royal Welsh Show.

This year will be very special as he introduces his new variety to the public, revealing the Welsh name at the Llanelwedd showground on Monday 22 July.

The Welsh National Sweet Pea Society, of which John is the chairman, was invited to choose the name.

Image caption John's wife Olwen helps him and arranges the flowers for all their competitions

It is an honour which the society is very proud of as there are thousands of varieties of sweet pea - but none with a Welsh name.

"The response we have had to the new one has been amazing and we hope that it inspires more people to grow them so we can have more competitions," he told BBC Newyddion 9.

He first came across sweet peas in his father's garden when he was a teenager and their scent captured his imagination.

He would go on to open a flower, fruit and vegetable shop in Denbigh, where he sold produce grown on his farm in Llandyrnog.

Since retiring, he has devoted more and more of his time to growing sweet peas. His wife Olwen helps him and arranges the flowers for all their competitions.

He would not give much away about the name, only that he was inspired by Anglesey award-winning gardener Medwyn Williams, who recently named a new variety of tomato named a new variety of tomato 'Y Ddraig Goch' (Red Dragon).

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