This week I got itchy feet to start sewing my seeds so I have started with sweet peas.
I have read a lot of conflicting advice about sowing sweet peas, which makes it difficult to know where to start. Gardening though is all about trial and error! I decided to soak the seeds overnight before sowing as I had read this may help germination. I have also read you can make a small hole in the seed to allow moisture in, but I was a bit nervous of doing that in case I destroyed it. Next I put the seeds in deep root trainer trays filled with compost, which suit the sweet peas long roots and watered them in well.
I was faced with more conflicting advice about whether sweet peas should be covered in newspaper to exclude light to germinate or cover with glass to allow light in. I opted for the newspaper, in the airing cupboard full of towels and I am hoping the seeds will germinate in there soon. It was the warmest place I could think of in our old cold house at this time of year. As soon as they have germinated I will get them into the light and the cool conservatory so they do not get too leggy. You can also sew sweet pea seeds direct into the soil in your garden but the risk from mice (and for me slugs) is too high, so I sew indoors and transplant out later when I have some decent sized plants.
Last year I grew sweet peas for the first time and used them in mixed bunches and jam jar posies. What I loved about them was the more you cut them the more they just kept on flowering and the scent is just divine! They do have a shorter vase life than some other flowers of about 4-5 days. However the great thing about buying locally grown flowers is that they will be cut freshly for you and you know they will last the longest possible time in your vase at home. Buy a bunch of sweet peas and they will fill your room with scent and look lovely in a vase on your kitchen table.
This year I am going to experiment with growing many more varieties of sweet pea to find out which are my favourites. I am growing spencer, heritage, grandiflora and multiflora varieties, in a range of colours.
When I started to write about sweet peas this week I searched for a picture I had taken of them last year and realised I was struggling to find any! I had a few pictures of them mixed in with other flowers, but not on their own to show you how beautiful they are. Note to self must take many more pictures of my flowers this year! I will leave you with a couple I did find of my sweet peas in jam jar posies
These flowers are beautiful, delicate and deliciously fragrant . Look out for bunches of sweet peas on the stall later this year!