Thirty Days in the Garden: A Sweet Pea Update

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit obsessed with sweet peas. I look forward to them every year. These unassuming flowers have the ability to uplift. They’re sweetly scented and delicate, cast in soft colors and pale hues.

Here’s what the sweet peas looked like three weeks.

March 27, 2021

This is what they look like today. I’ve added stakes for climbing, just visible in this photo. In the past I’ve used a portable folding fence, but I prefer the look of these stakes. The stakes are designed for tomatoes, so they’re nice and sturdy.

April 19, 2021
April 19, 2021

I let the sweet peas go to seed every summer. They replant themselves in the fall, impervious to the cooler weather or the ocassional frost. They start flowering in March and fill the garden through May. Our summer heat is no match for these shade-loving sensations, so I enjoy them while I can.

Because they self-seed, I’m intrigued that the color variations don’t change. The flowers come back, year over year, in white, lavender, fuchsia, purple, and soft pink. As the last of the freesias fade, the scent of sweet peas takes over. I’ve cut a few of the flowers here and there, but I’ll soon have enough to start cutting small bouquets. It’s such an enjoyable task filling a small jar with wisps of green and scented sweet peas. I look forward to it every year.

2015: This watering can vase is 27 years old

I didn’t expect to see the sweet peas growing in the gravel this year as they’ve done in the past. Last summer we hired a handyman to rebuild the deteriorating planter box and at the same time replace the weed cloth under the gravel. The sweet peas are back, rooted in the small amount of soil deposited by the wind.

Sweet peas growing in shallow dirt and gravel

What an amazing plant!

Sweet!

12 thoughts on “Thirty Days in the Garden: A Sweet Pea Update

  1. have I mentioned that sweetpeas are my faves? The boy grows them for me at the allotment, and we usually have the first flowers around June, lasting right through til October, although once we get to July I usually have to give them a good blow to get rid of the greenfly aphids. They make me sneeze n snuffle, but it’s worth it.

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  2. They look gorgeous, especially in that last photo with a splash of orange from your poppies. 😃 Do they spread to your neighbours too? Enjoy them while they last Alys!

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  3. Lovely in the garden and in little vases around the house. The wild ones we had all over our hillside garden in France were always pink. I do miss them but I will be compensated by bluebells and foxgloves now we’re in a cooler, damper climate.

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  4. Soooo gorgeous and my favourite garden scent ! If I wanted them this year, I’d have to find seeds now and ask Jim to plant them. It might be too much of an ask, he does so much already.
    I’m always in awe of what transpires in California with these happy little gems. Ours are so tame in comparison, but always a joy no matter where you live xoK

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  5. They look so sweet in the watering can. You make me want to get started. Maybe this weekend I can get some extra hands to get started. The clouds will come back so I can spend more time outside. 😉 I really want to dress up the porch too.

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    • A dressed up porch is so much fun. I often think of it as a form of decorating outdoors. It’s a small and manageable spot, and you don’t have to commit to anything long term. I’m glad cooler weather is returning. It did here, too. It’s even cloudy and breezy today, an far cry from 90 degrees over the weekend. Have fun, Marlene.

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  6. So beautiful, I adore the scent of sweet peas! I’m envious that they are so easy for you to grow, Alys, and they self-sow, too. I just had to plant mine is a cage within a cage as last year some critter ate them to the ground. Fingers crossed, I’ll have flowers in a few months. 🙂

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    • Oh no! What a shame, Eliza. I’m glad you’ve figured a workaround. I feel the same way about sunflowers. The squirrels invariably dig them up almost immediately. I’ve tried sowing indoors but they’re too leggy. I’m glad to have something else that will grow without that fuss. Good luck this season.

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