greentapestry : On The Scent ~ March 2015.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

On The Scent ~ March 2015.

In The Process Of Sowing Sweet Peas
Here the start of British Summer Time apart from being marked with some most unseasonable weather, has seen some scent orientated seed sowing. Thinking of summer days ahead has resulted in the sweet peas going in. It's hard to envisage that these hard dark brown cases yield the most delicious of scents come summer but they will. Sweet peas are the one annual that I can't imagine being without. Small bunches are cut regularly throughout the summer to waft their fragrance at me as I stand at the kitchen sink.

The Kitchen Windowsill
This year I'm sowing later than usual. In previous years autumn sowings have resulted in weak lanky plants, especially after mild winters, which has not been the ideal scenario when it comes to planting. Winter sowings have sometimes resulted in seeds rotting off so I've made a conscious decision to sow later this year. I do not soak the seeds prior to planting and usually do not have many problems with germination. I'm using root trainers for sowing. I only discovered these in 2013 and am now sold on them when it comes to planting sweet peas and beans. The act of transplanting is made so much easier on both the plants and the person planting them. Unfortunately the plastic is showing some signs now of wear and tear but they should see this season out. I was initially put off by the expense but they were well worth it. When eventually hardened off my sweet peas plants will travel to the allotment for planting.

From A Past Summer
Great fun was had choosing the 2015 varieties like that of choosing sweets in the good old days from Woolies pick 'n mix. All bar one were selected with scent in mind so we have :

  • 'Matucana' - which is one of the oldest sweet peas to have been introduced to these shores in around 1700. I've grown this for years so know that although the flowers are quite small they still pack a big punch when it comes to scent.
  • 'Erewhon' - I grew this last year. This is bi-coloured and is apparently quite unusual as it has lighter coloured upper coloured petals whilst the wings are darker. 
  • 'Beaujolais' - this was chosen for colour contrast rather than scent. I presume that the flower was named with the colour of the wine in mind. It still has some fragrance though.
Then four varieties which as far as I recollect I've not grown before namely:
  • 'Gwendoline' - the seed packet promises a 'rich heady perfume' and this sweet pea is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. 
  • 'Mollie Rilstone' - she has arrived in one of those silver foil packets with no picture and no information other than sowing instructions. 
  • 'Eclipse' - as above but you can see a beautiful photograph taken by Julie over at 'Peonies and Posies' if you click on the name of the plant.
  • 'Hi Scent' - which is regarded as one of the most highly scented sweet peas available hence the name. In some catalogues the spelling is 'High Scent'.
Are you growing sweet peas this year and if so have you any special recommendations for scent? After all it's not to late for more. With thanks to Louise over at 'Wellywoman' and Sue at 'Backlane Notebook' for coming up with the idea of a monthly post on the subject of scented plants. Hopefully later this year I can return to show the results of my sweet pea sowings.

30 comments:

  1. This is one of our next jobs we don't soak or scratch our seeds either. As for recommendations most of the ones I'm growing are new to me this year so I'm not too sure how they will do yet. I just hope that I have chosen well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I will be interested to hear about your new to you choices as the year goes on Sue. I hope that you have some scented ones amongst them.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely sweet peas aren't sweet peas for me if they are without a perfume. My choices are listed on my blog on 20 January - Sweet smell of success post.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Sue and noted for reading very soon :)

      Delete
  2. Ahhh, Woolies pick 'n' mix, that fills me with a sense of nostalgia. I sowed my sweet peas a couple of weeks ago, a collection which I picked up in the Wyevale 50p sale. I got five different varieties for 50p, they should have been £4.99, and they're a medium scent mix so I hope they smell good enough, afterall, we grow sweet peas for their scent just a much as their looks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really miss Woolies Jo for so many odds and ends. I think I know the mix you mean. Yes scent is just as important as looks when it comes to sweet peas.

      Delete
  3. Not something I grow.....yet! I have no idea why I don't, as I do like them. Maybe it's time to put that right. I love the colours of the ones you've featured in your pictures Anna. I'll make a note of their name.
    Hope you get good germination and a wonderful display.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh do have a go Angie and thanks for the good wishes. The ones in the photos in the post are 'Matucana'.

      Delete
  4. Is that matucana in the jug? All looks under control. Monty Don did a sweet pea sowing trial on Gardener's World and concluded spring sowing gave better results than Autumn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Rob they're 'Matucana. Glad to hear Monty's verdict on the matter :)

      Delete
  5. Glad to see you still managed to do some gardening, albeit indoor ones despite the wet weather welcoming BST. I can just imagine how wonderful the scent of those sweet peas would be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was all indoor gardening this weekend guys not only has it been wet but windy too!

      Delete
  6. Like most gardeners, I love sweet peas. Yours all look as though they will do well this year from a root trainer sowing. Mine were planted last month and were a packet bought last year on a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. I have no idea if they will be scented or what the colour range will be. They all germinated so it will be Pot luck !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Pam :) Thanks for your visit and comment. Pot luck can be just as rewarding as specially selected. I hope that your sweet peas flourish and provide you with both colour and scent. You will also have a reminder of a visit to a magical place.

      Delete
  7. You have chosen some lovely varieties.
    I collect the cardboard insides of loo rolls and sow them in those. Then I plant them cardboard and all. Nice strong roots that don' t get disturbed and it' s free!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chloris. I've used loo rolls in the past for sweet peas but mine seemed to get too damp and then collapse :(

      Delete
  8. I'm growing sweet peas for the first time in a few years and can't wait for their heady scent in summer. I too grow Beaujolais for its colour and then a few others for scent. The toilet roll tube idea sounds perfect :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you will be really looking forward to seeing them flower then Rona. The loo roll idea is good in principle but just didn't work for me.

      Delete
  9. They are such a lovely scent, but I have had only limited success with them. Perhaps I'll try again one day! Sweet Williams are easier for me as they seed themselves and are also semi-hardy here, they like my well-drained soil and the summer heat, and the slugs and mice don't eat them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh mice are partial to sweet peas Cathy especially when they've just been sown. My allotment neighbour lost all hers from her greenhouse sowings last year! She was not best pleased. Slugs seem to stay clear but I've had problems with aphids.

      Delete
  10. I am tying my hand with sweet peas this year...and I will let you know how it all turns out. I love the flowers and scent....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good luck with your sweet pea growing Donna. I look forward to hearing how you fare.

      Delete
  11. We grow sweet peas for Mary's (Daughter) allotment cutting garden. Cupani and Beaujolais are favourites. I have bought, on line, replacement books for root trainers with out covers and frames.
    They are a very useful growing system.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A lovely sounding choice. I've not down any yet this year, and think I will be using my root trainers for lead and beans, so I may try direct sowing, which will be a first, with whatever is left over from last year's debacle (too many plants on too small a wigwam...) Matucana is wonderful though, a definite must. In a proper sweet pea growing year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm totally intrigued as to what lead might be Janet but I'm interpreting it as peas :) I started with 2 sets of root trainers but have added 2 more since, which with some juggling just about meets my needs :)

      Delete
  13. Sweet peas are a must and I love your selection. I tend to end up with a motley collection of seeds left over form last year along with some new ones. I love 'Gwendoline'. I have enough for this year but I'm going to make a note of your varieties, as most of them are new to me. Picking the first bunch of sweet peas is always a bit of a milestone each year - I love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That first picking of sweet peas is certainly a red letter day Lou :)

      Delete
  14. I grew Mollie Rilestone last year, a free packet from T&M - frilly white with a pink edge. I will email a picture in due course. I saved some seed but they rotted and didn't germinate :( Interesting to read that you never soak yours, perhaps I won't in future then... You can buy packs of the trainers (with or without the frames) from eBay, maybe cheaper than garden centres? I replaced some of mine this year - perfect for sweet peas and beans as you say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thanks for the kind thought Cathy which has since materialised in my in box :) I'm sorry to hear that your saved seed rotted :( I will be definitely look out on eBay for replacement trainers as when required.

      Delete

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 : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.