Each time I go to my plot I find a welcome sight, whether it is bees buzzing, the grape vine that is putting on great new growth, or the Californian Poppies giving me a blast of colour.
The peas are starting to climb, the tendrils reaching out to the next cane or piece of string, flower buds appear and flourish and small pea pods emerge to fatten up. But I thought today you might like to see a special pea – Salmon Flowered. I picked half a dozen seeds up in a swap a couple of years ago, and managed to grow and save more seeds for future years and swapping. It is a heritage pea dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries which has since gone out of fashion as the big commercial growers focus on the bumper packed, uniform, easily grown and picked peas.
It’s an unusual pea – a climber, but actually not reaching that high – maybe 4ft, but what makes it so distinct are the flowers which form a “crown” at the top of the growing stem. The flowers as you can see are two-tone with a deep pink inner and a lighter salmon-pink outer. They make for a pretty summer sight.
The peas themselves are small with 4 or 5 to a pod. And if you leave the peas on the plant to dry to save seeds, the pods turn a pinkish colour too. And the all important taste test? Sweet enough straight from the pod. Perfect for a mid morning snack on the plot. If you do really want to cook them – lightly and quickly steamed is the way to go.
If you want to read more about Salmon Flowered Peas – this blog is a great place to start.