Sunday, 26 August 2012

The dilemma of sweet peas

I've been growing sweet peas for many years now.  Sometimes I sow them in the Autumn, sometimes in the Spring, depends what mood I'm in and whether I remember.  In honesty it never seems to make much difference so more often than not I sow in Spring now.
I always grow Cupani, it is one that I am very fond of.  Usually easy to grow (as are they all) and has a wonderful scent.  I only grow sweet peas that have scent, whilst the frilly ones are pretty, they seem pointless to me if they do not smell as a sweet pea should smell.
These dark ones have been wonderful this year, I think they are Beaujolais, they smell wonderful.
It is these red ones (King Edward VII) that have flowered the best and longest this year, I am very pleased with them.  The scent is good too.  It has not been the best year for sweet peas, they seemed slow to get going (I would say sluggish, but the slugs had a few too).  Now they are in full swing

and here is the dilemma.  The other morning I was sitting outside having my breakfast on the evening bench (I know, wrong bench, but hey they're my benches and if I want to eat breakfast on the evening bench I will).  It was a lovely still, hot, morning.  As I sat there the scent from the sweet peas that are growing in pots alongside the coal bunker (I am painting a romantic picture I know) wafted over me.  It was heavenly.
I had had a very busy week, so I was behing on my picking of the blooms to bring into the house.  I try to pick fairly often to keep them flowering as long as possible.
I sat there thinking how pretty they looked and how wonderful they smelled and wished I could just leave them to do their thing, after all, they do their thing so well.
I knew that I would have to pick them soon, I have to prevent them from setting seed as then they stop flowering.  For that brief moment though I enjoyed them so much.

Then I went and fetched the scissors.
Then they made my kitchen smell as wonderful as they had outside.

7 comments :

  1. Here on the shores of Lake Michigan, there is a perennial sweet pea that is beautiful. It is really rather big with lager flowers. I will have a posting of it one of these days. You might enjoy it. Jack

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    1. Thanks - yes I'd be interested to see that.

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  2. I'm sorry to disagree but sweet peas arent easy I cant grow them. This year from two packets of seeds I had 4 plants and they just sat there all weak and pathetic. If I do get them to grow they end up with mildew.

    So no sweet peas for me :(

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    1. Some plants just don't grow for some people, I'm convinced of this - I can't grow carrots but other people grow amazing ones. Some plants just don't like me!

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  3. Glad that I have read your post as I have been debating about whether to grow Beaujolais for a while but have been wondering about the scent factor :) My sweet peas get picked regularly too and usually end up in a vase on the kitchen windowsill.

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  4. I usually plant sweet peas every year, but somehow I missed them this year. Must remedy that!

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  5. I've struggled with sweet pea germination for the last two years, this year i was rewarded with two pathetic plants that managed 1 flower between them. :-(

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