greentapestry : 'On Tip -Toe For A Flight'

Sunday, 17 October 2010

'On Tip -Toe For A Flight'

"Here are sweet peas, on tip- toe for a flight:
With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white
And taper fingers catching at all things
To bind them all about with tiny rings"
~ John Keats,1795-1821 

Earlier this week I sowed some sweet peas in the greenhouse. I have once again decided to grow the highly scented 'Matucana' which I have grown ever since I got my allotment plot. They give me as much pleasure as any edible crop and their arrival always signifies the sure arrival of summer. A wigwam of seven plants is more than enough to keep me supplied with bunches to pick for vases from early June to mid September. This year I decided on another introduction ~ 'Albutt Blue' which you can pick out in the photos below ~ 

In the sniff stakes these were not a patch on 'Matucana' and although attractive I do not think I will grow them again. I would still like to try another variety preferably a pastel mix. I have been stopped in my tracks a couple of times at the allotment this year by shows of sweet peas, including a display of mixed pastel shades interwoven with scarlet runner beans. Any suggestions of good and preferably highly scented mixes would be most welcome from any other sweet pea fans out there. Earlier today there were some comprehensive instructions for sowing sweet peas in the autumn as well as advice on their aftercare on BBC's 'Gardener's Question Time', which is now available on BBC IPlayer.


  1. Dear Anna, I do so love Sweet Peas, which do look so wonderful massed in vases and jugs indoors throughout the summer. I find all of the colours attractive but always avoid those forms without much scent.

  2. I had forgotten all about sowing sweet peas until it was mentioned somewhere last week. I haven't bought any seeds yet, another trip to the garden centre beckons (as if I need an excuse).

  3. Once again reading other garden blogs has given me a new idea. Up till now I've never tried sweet peas, but just might now. Yours look lovely.

  4. Hi Anna, Sweet peas are my very favourite "little" bouquet of flowers. Aren't they just adorable? When I was a student I would purchase bunches of them at the city market to bring home to my apartment. I think I knew then I had to have a garden someday. :)

  5. Hi Anna, wait a minute, did I understand you correctly, you sow your sweet peas now in the autumn?

    I have a favourite called Franciscus Cupani do you have it ib your garden as well?/ Tyra

    Fragrant and Tasty in Tyra’s Garden

  6. I just adore sweet peas, so I planted some everlasting ones this year - NOT bothering with them again, they were small and had no scent whatsoever - a BIG disappointment even if they are still flowering now!

  7. Hi Anna, I would love to send you some sweet pea seeds. I have had some amazing colours this year both in the garden and on the allotment. I always save the seeds of the nicest colours and have lots this year, so if you would like me to post you some just e-mail me your address and I will pop them in the post. I think it's always nice to pass on saved seeds to friends.
    I haven't tried Matucana before, I think I will give them a go next year.
    M x

  8. I know you grow 'Matucana' every year and what a treat it must be: one of the oldest varieties.

    No doubt Sweet peas mixed with scarlet beans looks great.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.