Around here the spring garden season kicks off with the planting of the sweet peas on St. Patrick’s Day! I know it sounds early but it works every time.
Sweet Peas are well named as they are one of the sweetest little flowers in the garden and I love to tuck them into bokays! They are a wonderful rose companion!
The Victorians, who also went crazy over bokays, used them too. With Tussie Mussies in hand, the Victorians used the subtle messages of flowers and herbs to convey not-so-subtle meanings. Sweet peas were used to convey departure, delicate pleasure and many thanks.
As I write this I have in mind the many such “subtle” moments in the movie, The Age of Innocence, one of my favorite movies. If you’ve seen it, you know just what I mean… the costumes … the society … the flowers.
MANY THANKS TO HENRY!
The Victorians and I have Henry Eckford to thank for the lovely sweet peas we know today. He is credited with developing over 100 varieties of this dainty beauty.
PLANTING SWEET PEAS
Before I plant my sweet peas I soak them over night to soften the hard shell.
Like all plants, sweet peas prefer well-drained, fertile soil. I plant them about 1” deep and about 2” apart. Water them in and provide a trellis and you are done! They will do the rest!
We have the sweet peas trailing on some wire fencing that we added over the picket fence…
Note the name on the plant tag… Eckfords Finest. Burpee has put together some of his “finest” varieties and you can find them on their website here.
VARIETIES I’M PLANTING
- High Scent: Couldn’t pass this one up! Package says it is the most fragrant of all the sweet peas!
- Mammoth Mix: These bloom early. Bonus!
- Galaxy Mix: Large flowers!
- Eckfords Finest: Just have to have this one!
ONE MORE THING ABOUT SWEET PEAS!
As sweet as the sweet pea is to look at and many of them have the sweetest fragrance … DO NOT EAT THEM.
TIME TO GET THE GARDEN PARTY STARTED!
Spring is truly just around the corner. Are you ready? What is your first task in the garden?