Sweet peas

by Jane Moore

A bunch of sweet peas is far better than any air freshener, and the pastel colours are simply enchanting.

Sweet pea flowersI'm not a great one for growing flowers on my plot. Maybe I shy away from raising flowering plants on the allotment because I grow so many in my main job (as head gardener at The Bath Priory Hotel). I've grown marigolds as companion plants and the odd dahlia, but that's been the sum of it.

My neighbours on the plot, Ron and Vic, put me to shame. Ron's plot is overrun with dahlias, zinnias, spray chrysanthemums and marigolds, which he and Mrs Ron cut regularly for their house. And Vic, on the other side of me, has a veritable riot of sweet peas rambling all over a bamboo cane plant support. My plot might be lush and colourful with runner bean blooms and courgette flowers, but it does lack that splash of summery colour. Besides which, a few flowers work wonders bringing in pollinators like bees, hoverflies and butterflies.

Vic has told me to help myself to his sweet peas and I have - very freely! It's far better to keep picking them regularly than let them go to seed as they stop flowering - in much the same way as edible peas. Unlike the edible variety though, the delicious scent of sweet peas wafts around the house for days; there can't be anyone who doesn't love their perfume. A bunch of sweet peas is far better than any air freshener, and the pastel colours are simply enchanting. There's no doubt about it - I must grow some next year.

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Gardeners' World Web User 15/08/2008 at 21:36

Quite agree! This is the first year I have attempted growing sweet peas and I've been delighted with the result. Every week we have 1-2 posies of fresh flowers that bring charm, colour and a delightful scent to the home. It is great that you must keep cutting them as you have a summer long supply of fresh, free flowers, and the more you cut, the more that grow.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/08/2008 at 08:15

I have had my allotment since the beging of April and once we got it dug over and put lots of veg in, we decided to try 2 variety's of sweet peas. one which dies at the end of the year, this is producing pure white flowers which I picked my first bunch yesterday. My lounge smells lovely, I need to get more small vases so I can have some in each room. The second variety which is everlasting has not flowered yet, but you can see that it won't be too long. I will definitely do them again next year.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/08/2008 at 11:02

we have just started an allotment . and along side of the plot. there is a road . and the soil is full of stone . from under the road. so i carnt put eny feg there. so i got alot of the spare soil.and i mixed it all together. and i put sume fish bone and blood in it. and sume growmoor in it. then i planted aload of perenuals. and anuals. and every one that comes on the allotment says that looks grate. so you can mix flowers with veg.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/08/2008 at 17:24

Can not agree more Sweet peas are wonderful flowers for home. But any suggestions on bud drop which I have had a problem with this year.

Gardeners' World Web User 19/08/2008 at 20:51

I'm growing Sweet peas for the first time and love the smell. I had not thought to cut them and bring them indoors. Thank you Tracy J. for mentioning it. I wonder if I should harvest the peas for eating or for sowing next spring.

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