This beautiful posy is made up of flowers from the lovely Sweet Pea plant. Most people here in the UK seem to have grown up with these pretty little flowers, but my first encounter with the Sweet Pea was just over a year ago, when a neighbour brought us a bouquet from her garden. It was then that I fell in love with these delicate little flowers with their lovely sweet fragrance.
Having vowed to plant some this year, I was then lucky enough to win a packet of Sweet pea seeds from the lovely people at Thompson & Morgan, via Twitter.
The variety shown here is "Heirloom Bicolour Mixed", and I was delighted with the resulting blooms, which were varying shades of lilacs, mauves and violets and made for such a pretty blend of hues that I almost felt a tinge of regret for not planning our wedding (the year before) to coincide with the blooming of these lovely flowers. They would have made such beautiful posies for our flower girls!
The cut flowers, also bring the most delightful floral fragrance into the house.
I sowed six Sweet Pea seeds in March, and they bloomed from July through to October. These are a climbing plant so will need the support of a trellis or canes, as they grow upwards.
As with other pea plants, continuously picking the flowers seems to encourage more blooms.
If any flowers are left on the plant, they will soon turn into furry pods, which you will need to pick off but remember not to eat; my husband has on more than one occasion, tried to "harvest" these, mistaking them for edible peas!
When To Sow
According to this RHS article, the best time to sow sweet peas is during the autumn, in the months of October and November. So, you can get sowing now for beautiful blooms next year!
Other interesting articles on growing Sweet Peas:
Guardian "Sweet Peas, please" by Jane Perrone
BBC - Growing Sweet Peas