Skip to main content

3 Garden Peas With Ornamental and Edible Appeal

Peas provide absolutely gorgeous flowers that range from white to purple, depending on the type of pea you are growing. Our favorites are ‘Golden Sweet’ snow peas, ‘Oregon Giant’ snow peas and ‘Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers’ garden pea.

desiree dwarf garden pea

For a wonderful arrangement in the garden, use an arbor or trellis, intermixing the seeds of these three varieties at the bottom when the weather is still cool in the spring. In some areas peas can also be planted in the fall.

The beautiful ‘Golden Sweet’ will take over the top of the trellis with vines over six feet long and produce purple flowers that will yield dainty yellow snow peas. These are by far our favorite when they’re picked small, and few make it back to the house. They are not good when they get larger, so keep after them. (We have found this is never a problem to do!)

‘Oregon Giant’ has white flowers on vines that grow just two or three feet high, so they will fill in the lower area of the trellis. Their lovely green pods can be harvested at a larger size than most snow peas. They are very prolific, so be prepared for lots to share.

The flowers of the ‘Desiree’ peas are a lovely violet color; the pods themselves an impressive deep purple (shown). These are bush-type pea plants that will cover up the bottom of the mixed planting nicely, filling in where some lower older leaves may have come off the other vines. This variety is usually classified as a garden pea, but the pods can be enjoyed small as a snow pea. If you allow them to grow larger you can harvest them as a garden pea or shell pea.

This arrangement makes an eye-catching addition to any garden that has cool enough temperatures to grow peas. The bonus is how wonderful they look in salads and other dishes. And fresh snacking right in the garden—yes, let’s not forget that!

Read about choosing pea varieties for your garden.

Gardening Jones is a Pennsylvania-based master gardener. Read her other Horticulture posts here and learn more at
Find all you need to know to grow enough vegetables to supply an average family's food on just a quarter of an acre in Brett L. Markham's Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre.

Get solutions to all your vegetable-garden problems with The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book.

Browse vegetable-gardening references, tools and seeds at