Sweet peas

I love sweet peas! The colours, the delicate petals and, of course, the scent! I wanted to incorporate them in to the garden and the idea was to grow them around a teepee structure for the children to play in.

I thought growing sweet peas for the first time would be a doddle. I have seen them growing all over the place… But… It has been hard, the plants have not been as healthy and happy as I had hoped.

I have made a lot of mistakes with the sweet peas this year. I have some how managed to kill two lots of seedlings that took a very long time to sprout, and the surviving, third batch of seedlings took a long time to establish themselves in the ground.

Our rented garden was practically untouched for years and the competition with well established weeds was rife. The seeds were sown in egg boxes but these dried out quite a lot in the warm French sunshine.

We transferred them to the ground and watered well… which the weeds loved! A couple of seedlings struggled to establish themselves but eventually the plants began to grow, climb and produce flowers.

The stems of the flowers were quite short – not what I was hoping for. I underestimated how often the flowers would need pruning in order to keep producing flowers.

Unfortunately, the plants never grew enough to cover the teepee!

By July, I think I finally understood the sweet peas and how to get more flowers from them and keep the plants healthy and thriving. Unfortunately, this is the end of the sweet pea season… there is always next year!

As part of the flower farm, I’m hoping to learn from this; start the seeds nice and early, keep them warm and watered, give the seedlings more room, stagger the sowing, sow more!, prune regularly once in flower and keep my fingers crossed!

Hopefully, I will have plenty of blooms of sweet scented flowers to pop into bouquets of beautiful British flowers.

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