Project Grow

Project Grow

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014 Sweet Peas

This year I decided to go to the trouble of finding some old named sweet pea varieties. In the past I usually grew “Royal Family” which is available at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, J.L. Hudson Seeds, and many other places. I have even seen “Royal Family” at at local retailers. “Royal Family” is a mix of old grandiflora types from the turn of the century (the 19th century) when sweet peas were very popular. Grandifloras have smaller flowers than the more recent introductions but a stronger scent.

I found quite a few varieties at Swallowtail Garden Seeds. From Swallowtail I ordered
  • Flora Norton – soft mauve and “fantastically fragrant”
  • Mrs. Collier – white and “intensely fragrant”
  • Queen Alexandria – pink-scarlet
  • Lord Nelson – dark blue and “extremely fragrant”
  • Henry Eckford – orange and “strongly scented”
I try not to order just a packet of seeds from one mail order place because the shipping usually costs more than the seeds. But, I was already ordering a bunch of stuff from Fedco so I felt justified in adding a packet of maroon “Black Knight”. To round out my sweet pea mania, I ordered a packet of salmon “Miss Wilmott” from Select Seeds, again because I was ordering a number of other things from them.

My plan is to grow 3 plants of each kind and plant them on each side of a 12 foot row. That is enough plants to have lots and lots of cut sweet peas in late June and into July. When the hot weather hits the stems get shorter and shorter so the entire season is only about 3-4 weeks but the house sure smells great while they last.

You can read another post with details about how I grow sweet peas here.

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