Well the Sweet Pea is a beautiful annual flower that comes in huge range of varieties with colours, from pearly white through ice cream pastels to vibrant magentas and inky purples.
In 1888 Scottish born horticulturist Henry Eckford moved to Wem and Established Eckford Nurseries. He bought the large house on the corner of Noble Street and Market Street and took some ten acres of land on the Soulton Road (now occupied by the Hazlitt Place housing estate). Later he was to purchase the three houses next to his in Market Street (now redeveloped) which allowed the production of Sweet Peas to really take off.
Wem became known as the Sweet Pea “Headquarters” in the world of flowers and a Mecca for distinguished horticulturalists from many countries. By the time Henry Eckford died in 1905 he had won many awards for his work including The Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest award the highest tribute the Royal Horticultural Society can bestow, and created upwards of 200 different varieties of Sweet Pea! What an amazing achievement, and one that we’d like to pay tribute to at each year’s Sweet Pea Show by displaying these beautiful flowers.