One of my favourite summer activities is to pick an enormous bunch of sweet peas and pop them in vases all around the house, in particular right beside my bed! The beautifully delicate perfume invades the entire space and the blooms last close to a week.
I usually start my sweet peas off in the autumn, over-wintering them in an unheated greenhouse. Unfortunately last year I was rushed with many other things – and I missed my chance. I’ve not sown in the winter before, but will keep my fingers crossed that the seeds planted today will shoot in the next couple of weeks – and that the sweet peas will bloom as profusely as ever… will be totally gutted if they don’t.
As always it’s a great chance to use up all the old toilet roll innards that seem to collect around my house, enjoy a lovely cup of tea and sow away!
The romantic early Victorians created a ‘language of flowers’, providing a unique definition to each flower, thus every bouquet delivered a special message. ‘Delicate pleasures’ is the very appropriate description for the sweet pea and it’s recommended to use the flower, with lilac and white roses, in a bouquet for a first romance. Imagine the sheer delight shown by the recipient at being given a heavenly, sweetly scented bouquet. I’d like one myself, without the divorce that would have to go along with a ‘first romance’! Will gift to myself in midsummer. “The Language of Flowers” by Mandy Kirkby is a beautiful book that gives loads of information about flowers and the meaning in giving.
A beautiful tradition that I will continue.