A sweet pea for my sweet pea

I use a smattering of endearments from Sweetie to Darling, my niece has even been called cup cake before now and without too many objections!  My other endearment is as you’ve guessed sweet pea. Just sort of trips off the tongue don’t you know sweetie dhaarling.

Sweet Peas_Black Knight

The sweet pea flowers in today’s post come from my garden via Charleston House of the Bloomsbury Group fame where they were grown in the walled garden, which I’ve visited and written about before

Charleston House – Sweet Pea – Black Knight

“One of 115 varieties Mr Henry Eckford exhibited at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1900, bred in 1898. Highly scented deep maroon flowers.”

EDITED_2013_08_23_SweetPeas (1)And what a history this sweet scented cut flower has! Sweet Peas were introduced to the UK in the 17th Century from Sicily by a Sicilian monk, Franciscus Cupani (you can still by the Cupani bi-coloured Sweet Pea to this day). I don’t know about you but growing flowers with such a history tickles me pink, think of all the previous growers and their lives and loves. Fascinating.

The name “sweet pea” comes from “lathyros,” which is the Greek term for “pea”  or “pulse” and from “odoratus” which is Latin for “fragrant.” The sweet pea is said to symbolise blissful pleasure and delicate pleasures. What could be better than a vase of scented blissful pleasure?

EDITED_SweetPeas_07_21_13 (1)I missed the October sowing dates but sweet peas are fine and dandy started in February / March. Sown outside 6 to a 7/9 inch pot of compost, planted out in a sunny spot when a few inches high in April and trained up a trellis, canes, garden structure or even up more sturdy plants with a little care and attention.

Come mid summer and the blooms bloom, the scent fills the garden and if you keep picking bunches as they flower you will have a sweet scented home and more and more blousy blooms – plenty to give a posy to your neighbour or friend or to your very own sweet pea. They make perfect cut flowers and for the home or novice gardener are easy to save seeds from; simply let some of the best flowers from the whole of the plant go to seed, and when the pods are papery and dry bring them indoors to finish drying. For more information on growing sweet peas check out the National Sweet Pea Society.

Posy of Sweet Peas _ Black Knight Instead of buying some hot house flowers for your sweet pea on Valentines day why don’t you sow and grow your own sweet peas this year and sow some blissful pleasure?

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Talking of gifts for my sweet pea, I’ve been busy creating cards and postcards – adorned with images I’ve taken in my garden, my allotment and when allowed out and about. I plan to use them as gifts, notes and maybe sell a few; I’m sure the Black Knight Sweet Peas will be featuring!

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