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.