The so, so sweet peas!

The first sweet pea bouquet of the season!

The blooming of the sweet peas has been much anticipated, ever since the success of the crop for my first time last year and even more so after placing the order for “Henry Eckford” ORANGE sweet peas. I’ve worried that our warmer than normal and drier than normal weather would effect the crop, but they’ve been watered often and seem no worse for wear…so far. The first bouquet is lightly perfuming my desk even as I write this, their jewel tones brightening what is forecast to be a VERY windy, gloomy day. However, the rain will be welcome, but not so much the 94 degree F temps, or the possible hail and severe storms forecast for later.

The above bouquet is a mixture of the seed saved from last year, which was planted on trellis 7d. I need to look up what variety that was, but that notebook is in the Lady Cottage and it’s already begun to rain. Overall, I like the colors and the scent so I’ll be saving seed again.

Lots of deep purples, rose tones and a bit of coral.

Especially pleasing is that the deep purple sweet peas come into bloom at the same time, and pair so well with the “Breadseed” Poppy nearby. I wish the poppies were a better cut flower, but I’m happy with their appearance in the potager here and there.

The white blooms in the bouquet are from the planting on trellis 2d, which was supposed to be half “Henry Eckford,” an “orange” sweet pea and “Mollie Rilstone,” reportedly a rich cream, with highly rippled pink-coral picotee edge. Here’s what I have:

Some pure white, some soft pink, some reddish/orangish…

Definitely not “Mollie Rilstone.” None of the pale ones directly above have much scent, so I probably won’t be saving the seed for next year, or maybe I will because the white ones look so nice with all the other colors. The final planting is a short row on the trellis by the south bench.

More “Henry Eckford”

When I titled this post, I was thinking “the so, so” meant “so, so sweet!” but as I wrote it and was evaluating the crop, it became more of a “the sweet peas this year are just so-so!” I’m happy to have sweet peas climbing the trellises, but I think I’ll be ordering some with more scent for next year, and not worry so much about color. Stem length may be still a factor, because I do like to cut them. They are all beautiful, and now that I know they can grow in full sun if they get enough water, the potager will always have some! What are your favorite varieties?


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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8 Responses to The so, so sweet peas!

  1. bcparkison says:

    I love sweet peas…maybe next year I’ll get around to growing some.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I love them too but gave up growing them after several very disappointing seasons – must try again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw your post and was surprised to find a type of pea plant grew such beautiful flowers too! Now I feel a bit silly;) I will add these to our garden asap. Thanks for introducing me to them. Do you have a blog post detailing how and when you started these last year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      These are “Sweet Peas”, lathyrus odoratus…not an eating pea! In fact, I think the seeds are poisonous? I do grow them in the potager, even though we don’t eat them because they are a traditional potager/cottage garden flower, and I need them someplace where I can constantly remove the faded flower stems so the pods don’t form too early and the plants quit flowering.


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