greentapestry : IAVOM - Sweet Pea Love

Monday, 4 July 2022

IAVOM - Sweet Pea Love

Summer wouldn't be summer for me without sweet peas to pick and bring into the house. They usually sit in a vase or an old jam jar on the kitchen windowsill where they are a welcome diversion from washing the dishes or other sink based chores. Apart from the array of colour their scent is for me one of my absolute favourites. In her book 'Scent Magic: Notes from a Gardener' describing the joy of sweet pea flowers after a ten month wait the author Isobel Bannerman writes : "Sun -warmed water, soap suds, marshmallows; treats of all kinds come to mind on sniffing sweet peas. The first lathyrus odoratus flower of the year is like the return of a great friend, usually alone and fragile, who has made it to your doorstep. A couple of days later you might be able to pick six and proudly put them on the kitchen table. A week later, the house is filled with them in every sort of vessel, like paint pots, like a flower show. The wait, the patience, the frost fingers grappling with hazel, mania about mice, all becomes worthwhile".

I held on until the start of March to sow my sweet peas and they are only really just getting into gear now. I find that if I sow them any earlier that the germination rate is not particularly good. This year's planting is restricted to one wigwam and has met with some setbacks. My assistant gardener was in charge of planting and early tending and in his eagerness was responsible for some accidental damage to stems and also uprooted one variety. I resisted the urge to say much about these unfortunate incidents 🤐  In my vase are 'Erewhon', 'Black Knight', 'Matucana', a solitary stem of 'Gwendoline', 'Eclipse' and a new to me variety with the unfortunate name of 'Piggy Sue'. 

The weather here seems to have forgotten that is summer. It seems to have been cool and windy for days with a good amount of rain thrown into the mix but there are signs in the forecast that there is better weather to come on the horizon. A big thank you to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her steadfast hosting. As always I'm looking forward to seeing vases from other 'In A Vase On Monday' participants.

P.S. I was puzzled by expressions of concern for my personal safety in comments responding to my last post. The drop below my usual vase perch is only 10 feet and not 30! I was obviously not thinking clearly when my fingers hit the keyboard. I do apologise and must go back and amend that alarming figure. I still think that the vase not be the same if it went over the edge. 


  1. You always come up with such lovely quotations, Anna 😊 and I think we would all agree that the first sweet peas are particularly precious. Thanks for sharing your early preciouses with us, and I am sorry there were some accidents... With not seeing some of my previous recipients of posies I am in danger of losing my sweet peas early through infrequent picking so will need to start handing them out to neighbours. I did sell few posies of them on our Sunday garden opening though

  2. And I had to giggle at your inadvertant typo, once you had clarified you don't live at the top off a cliff! 🤣

  3. I'm always surprised to see sweet peas in posts at this time of year because they're spring blooms here. I love yours and feel as though I can almost smell them! That was a lovely quote that speaks to the joy these flowers provide.
    P.S. I'm glad to learn that you don't live atop a treacherous cliff ;)

  4. I do enjoy seeing posies of sweet peas on other people's blogs, and you have chosen such a pretty vase too Anna. Sweet peas don't do well in my garden and would have been frazzled in our recent heat, but the perennial ones (with barely any fragrance) do well as an alternative. I hope they flower well for you after their difficult start! 😉

  5. Hi Anna, I'm sorry to learn about your fall. Friend of mine fell over while pruning and broke her wrist and ankle, had to spend the summer in a wheelchair and that was only two steps. Be careful. I'm delighted to see this charming jug again this time filled with gorgeous sweet peas. They only thrive in cooler weather and must be pleased. I tried in the beginning to grow them but to no avail. Lathyrus latifolius is growing wild here and I pick it for the vase, sadly it's not scented. Wishing you a happy summer :)

  6. A beautiful bunch of sweet peas. Have you ever tried sowing them in October?


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