A sweet idea

SAY PEAS: Adele and David Brook will be entering their sweet peas into a competition as part of a brand new sweet pea festival in Mirfield (d26011149)
SAY PEAS: Adele and David Brook will be entering their sweet peas into a competition as part of a brand new sweet pea festival in Mirfield (d26011149)

GREEN-fingered organisers are hoping for the sweet smell of success with a new summer festival planned for the town.

The first Mirfield Sweet Pea Festival will take place this year, and organiser The Yorkshire Sweet Pea Society is hoping the whole town will get involved.

The society has been hosting championships in Mirfield for 13 years, which often attract people from across the country.

But this year the society decided to turn the competition into a festival for the whole of the town - not just horticultural experts.

Classes for school pupils are now planned, as well as a competition for the best decorated shop front on a sweet pea theme.

Secretary Darren Myers said: “The aim is to generate as much interest in both the town and the sweet pea festival as possible.

“We hope that we can attract visitors into Mirfield which will hopefully help to promote the town.

“For this to happen we need the town to get behind the festival and support our efforts, as well as getting as much exposure as possible.”

In commemoration of the town’s event, Mr Myers said it was hoped a variation of sweet pea developed by a specialist would be named ‘Mirfield’, to be available to buy next year.

He said: “We are extremely optimistic that some of the country’s best growers will be exhibiting.

“We’re expecting people from as far as Scotland. The National Sweet Pea Society is friendly and people go out of their way to help other competitors.”

Mr Myers said lots of work was involved in growing the plants.

He said: “It’s a fine balancing act. They are time consuming.

“Last year I grew 520 and I was working on them for two to two and a half hours every night.

“They have tendrils which cling on to everything and you take them off and tie the plants to canes.

“When you pack your boot full of flowers you’ve grown and take them to the show, it’s really rewarding.”

The festival takes place at St Paul’s Church, Eastthorpe, on Saturday July 2.