Monday, 10 August 2015

In A Vase On Monday ~ Almost But Not Quite


Sweet peas picked from the allotment are the sole occupants of this week's vase. Sown towards the end of March they've just come into their own in the last two or three weeks. The varieties were chosen mainly for their scent rather than colour. Having said that I was still aiming for a variety of contrasting but complimentary colours. I feel that I've almost succeeded but not quite.


The first sowings met with disaster as they were sown uncovered in the greenhouse and provided a mice sized meal or two or maybe there was more than one hungry mouse. A second sowing ensued but two of the eight varieties failed completely to materialise. One of these was the deep burgundy maroon of 'Beaujolais', whilst the other was 'Eclipse,' which was an unknown factor but still much anticipated.



So there were six varieties left in the mix. 'Matucana','Erewhon' had both featured in last year's sweet peas and once again lived up to expectations. The newbies all delivered in different degrees. Bright pink 'Gwendoline' makes for the most study plants out of the lot, bearing the longest and straightest of stems. 'Mollie Rilstone' has proved to be a most subtle but oh so attractive cream flushed with pink edges, whilst 'Hi Scent' also known as 'High Scent' has more than lived up to its name.


So plans for next year include having another go at autumn sowing as well as perhaps a slightly earlier spring sowing. The six star performers have all got automatic season tickets. Their ranks will be added to by 'Beaujolais' or a similar colour, by the highly scented cream of 'Cathy' as well as 'Turquoise Lagoon', which is the one that got away in the seed box this time round. I may include another deeper pink but the jury is still out on this. Any recommendations if I do?



My prop is the short but delightful true story 'A Bunch Of Sweet Peas' by Henry Donald. It tells the tale of one of the competitors in the 1911 'Daily Mail' sweet pea competition. My plain glass vase is a cheap and cheerful from Wilkos.

What will everyone else have in their vases this week I wonder. I will be having a peek later via 'Rambling In The Garden'. With many thanks to Cathy for enabling us to share our vases of floral loveliness on Mondays.


35 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful vase of Sweet Peas Anna. You might find the pink you are looking for at Floret. Here's the link
    http://www.floretflowers.com/2013/12/my-favorite-sweet-peas/ Gillian

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    1. Thanks for visiting and for your comment Gillian. I've not heard of Floret so will investigate forthwith :)

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  2. Anna I adore the colors of these sweet peas especially since mine did not grow. I must find a way to grow these next year with success...just beautiful!

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    1. Oh no Donna what a travesty! I will keep my fingers crossed that yours fare better next year.

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  3. Not a plant I grow but I am now wondering if I should give some ago after seeing how pretty your look.

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    1. Oh Angie you must! I would not be without them.

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  4. At the moment Candy King looks promising, but it's early days, Do you find Beaujolais short stemmed?

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    1. Oh I will look into 'Candy King' Sue. Thanks for the suggestion and yes I've found 'Beaujolais' short stemmed although I've only grown it successfully a couple of times.

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    2. We're growing Black Diamond this year which is a lovely colour but not much scent which is OK in a mixed bunch

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    3. Name noted to investigate when I start perusing the catalogues. Thanks Sue :)

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  5. Fresh sweet peas in August - how lovely - especially as mine have long since finished. You can't beat a vase of sweet peas can you?

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    1. Thanks for visiting and for your comment Sarah. I wonder when you sowed yours. I did sow later than usual this spring but having said that perhaps we get a longer flowering season in the north west. There must be some advantages to living in this neck of the woods :)

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  6. Beautiful! Nothing beats a sweet pea for range of color and scent. Our sweet peas bloom on an entirely different schedule. In fact, Southern Californians like myself are encouraged to plant seeds in early September for blooms in late winter. This year, prompted by the sight of all the beautiful blooms in UK gardens, I'm going to make sure I make that deadline.

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    1. Thanks Kris. Sweet peas are indeed hard to beat :) I imagine that your late winter temperatures equate to our summers. Not long to go then until you sow. I look forward to seeing your blooms in vases to come.

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  7. I love the combination of colours Anna. So pretty. I only grew 2 different colours this year and I regret it. Next year I will try some of these beauties.

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  8. I've occasionally sown just one variety Liz such as 'Matucana' but thought that I would go to town this year :)

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  9. Those colours go so beautifully together, to make a lovely vase!
    Wish someone could develop a sweet pea which mice don't think of as a gourmet meal!!

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  10. You have just convinced me to plant sweet peas, they look so nice in your vase! Thanks for sharing it, Anna!

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    1. Oh do try them Anca. I think that they would do well in your part of the world.

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  11. 'Matucana' and 'Beaujolais' are two of my favourites. Have you grown 'Painted Lady', Red & White ( I know its not pink but if you mix the two together!) and we also grow 'Wiltshire Ripple.

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    1. I think that I grew 'Painted Lady' years ago Brian but can't be sure. I've seen 'Wiltshire Ripple' in flower and it's most attractive.

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  12. Such beautiful sweet peas and they all work so well together in a vase. I am encouraged to learn that late March sowing has resulted in August flowering as I am considering sowing later next year to give me a crop when the summer holidays are coming to a close rather than whilst we are away on holiday. That looks like a lovely little book you have.

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    1. It's a small book Julie but tells a heart warming tale and is beautifully illustrated.

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  13. Your arrangement is lovely. I think to have fresh looking blooms later in the season is a plus. So I would go with two sowings if you have the space. October and spring. Soaking the seeds for a day or so before sowing helps with the germination. I need something later in the season, like now, so maybe after several years of not growing them, I shall try next year.

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    1. Oh thank you for your kind words. I will definitely make an autumn and spring sowing. I've grown sweet peas for a good few years now and don't soak them. I don't usually have problems with germination and am putting the non-germination down to either the compost or more probably the seed itself :(

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  14. The sweet peas are so frilly and such a nice range of colors, all blending together. I bet they smell lovely, too. I haven't tried to grow them for a few years, I always found the germination process a little difficult. Having the pots out in the sun seemed to help but is not so easy.

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    1. They smell delicious Hannah and for the first day or two after picking the bunch perfumes the room. I hope that you give them another go at some point. They are well worth the effort.

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  15. My sweet peas haven't done very well again this year, though I've only got myself to blame this time, they've been somewhat neglected. You can't beat them for scent though, can you?

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    1. They are definitely at the top of the list for scent Jo. Sorry that yours have not done well this year but you have had a lot on your plate. I'm sure they will do well for you next year.

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  16. I have become a real fan of sweet peas too since doing the vases and it's good to hear which ones others are growing. after success with Mollie Rilestone I grew them again this year - well I did but they didn't :( ... I shall be including Purple Pimpernel again, hopefully from saved seed as it continues with long stems seemingly throughout - and I definitely recommend an autumn sowing. Thanks for sharing your lovely fragrant vase - reminding me to pick some more tomorrow!

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  17. Oh what a shame about Mollie Cathy - she looks so exquisite. I will have to look up 'Purple Pimpernel'. I've had mixed joy with autumn sowings of sweet peas over the years but will have another go :)

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  18. Anna, ah… a vase of sweet peas always take me back to my childhood as my Mum loved to grow them and pick small bunches for indoors. I can smell them yet. Yours are so pretty, I love the colour mix.

    I’ve never been successful with sweet peas here but I suspect its more in finding the right sunny location with space for them to grow that is my problem. Thanks, though for sharing how you’ve found growing them (lovely pics) as I like to hear this should I try again. I didn’t think about mice probs in growing them – I’ve learnt that, thanks.

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    1. I hope that you have another go with them Shirl as they will reward you with both colour and scent. This is the first time I've lost seed to mice but my fault for not covering them until they had germinated. We have a large area of uncultivated land behind the house so mice are never far away.

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  19. Beautiful, beautiful photos. Sweet peas are truly one of my favourite flowers - they have such a wonderful array of colours (I get as many as I can!) and combinations and their scent is addictive.

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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.