Seven feet and sweet.

P1100126Every two or three days I try to cut all of the flowers off my sweet pea vines. I have to stretch way up now to reach the top ones, because they are seven feet tall and still growing.

Since the weather turned hot the stems have shortened and I need something like this half-pint milk jar to put them in. I found it earlier this month in a Carson City antique store when Mrs. C. and I were browsing there. Now I wish I’d bought several more.


I’ve been scrounging around my cupboards and in the garage to find jars, so that I can take bouquets to friends – so far everyone has been welcoming of their bouquets, but I know that the heavy scent is too much for some people.

Chartwell sweet peas

My vines are very messy compared to the sweet pea rows Pippin and I saw at Chartwell in Kent, Winston Churchill’s country house. I was quite impressed to see such a wealth of sweet peas so meticulously trained and cared for. The English are famously devoted gardeners, aren’t they?

Last night Mr. Glad and I watched the movie “The Last September,” about the English in Cork, Ireland about 1920, and in one scene I was excited to see a bouquet of sweet peas on a table. They looked very like mine!

P1100123 crp

To get a good crop of sweet peas in our area, we have to start them in October. If we wait until Spring, the weather heats up too soon and cuts your pea season short. This is the case with edible peas, too. That white board is what I use to stand on when I’m picking so that I don’t sink in the mud.sweet pea seeds 2013

These are the packets I bought last Fall, but I didn’t get around to using the two dwarf packets, which I had planned to put into pots.

And for the sake of history, a picture of what I think was the last time I made the effort, already seven years ago, in almost the same place, against the previous fence.

roses & sweet peas 07
2007 with roses

Sweet Peas make me so happy, I’m already planning
for more seeds and a longer patch of vines for next year.


20 thoughts on “Seven feet and sweet.

  1. I am making a note on a post it and putting it on my board above my desk. To plant sweet peas in October this year. I love them and seeing and remember the lovely smell. Nothing that I know of is as lovely is a bouquet of sweet peas in a jar.
    Yours look fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a few sweet peas the tenants must have scattered, some on the front fence and one in the back I recognized, spared and moved when weeding. It is deep burgundy and is gracing the edge of bed of red onions.

    Several of your early posts are on my “go back and reread in a quieter time” lists because they deserved more thoughtful appreciative responses than I was able to type up in the moment.

    Who were you with in Carson City?


  3. Can’t get enough of that sweet pea fragrance when I’m lucky enough to be in the presence of sweet peas. It’s been a while! I was at Chartwell on a rainy day in late May a few years ago but somehow missed the sweet peas. There was so much to see in those gardens, and it was raining . . . we spent more time in the house and the studio I think.


  4. Since you seem to have some experience with sweet peas maybe you can help me! I want to know if there’s any kind of trick to get them to bear more flowers? I get a few here and there, but never enough to cut every few days! I planted them on a whim a few years ago, with no idea what I was doing and now I can’t get rid of them – I’ve tried pulling them all out a few times and they just keep coming back every spring. It’s not that I don’t like them, but there are just so few flowers, so I end up with a tangled green mass that gets ugly and brown after awhile. So, since it appears that I’m stuck with them, if you know of any ways to help me make the best of it please share!


    1. Lisa, I have never heard of anyone having this problem, nor have I heard of sweet peas that come back on their own! Are they in a shady spot? That is the only thing I can think of that might keep them from blooming much. Otherwise, some fertilizer? As you describe them they don’t sound very satisfying!


      1. The spot is shady in the afternoon, but there’s plenty of morning sunlight. I will try some fertilizer. Maybe that will do something… I’ll keep you posted. 🙂


  5. My experience is like Lisa’s but I now know that it is because I bought a ‘perenniel’ sweet pea. It grew and grew and took over an obelisk in a terrible tangled mass – one plant. I have tried to dig it out but I see that it is coming back again. I should have bought annual seeds and will do that next time. Your row of sweet peas is gorgeous – I can imagine that I smell their perfume!


  6. We have some wild sweet peas here that are perennials, and they never have many blooms. That is probably the explanation for this happening. Does this perennial sort have different colors of blooms? Because our wild ones are pretty monochromatic, and they mostly lie all tangly on the roadside.


  7. Oh, sweet peas are truly some of my favorite flowers! When I was in college and working for my dad, I’d go behind the shop at the end of the day to pick huge handfuls of them to bring home. I still look for them growing by the roadside. I’ve had ZERO success growing them, so I have to live vicariously through others. =)


  8. Thankyou for visiting me. I just came along for a peek and became a ‘follower’ I do love to read about home life in different parts of the world and you have a very homely blog. I love sweet peas too although the scent can be overpowering. Yours look beautiful. I am planting various beans along my fence this year, mainly for their flowers. We have an early summer in the UK it would seem and roses are coming out along with lavender already in my garden. Yes, isn’t that squirrel a surprise, I think any animal might produce an albino but maybe not survive preditors, this creature is in a bit of woodland behind our houses so probably the foxes are getting plenty of food without needing to assess the squirrel as food! Betty


  9. Thanks for the tips about growing sweet peas. I did start mine this spring, so they are not very tall yet, but I hope to get some peas from them! And some flowers too? Next year, I’ll start them in the fall 🙂


  10. I wish I could receive one of your jars of sweet peas! They do not produce an edible pea? I ♥ how the birds in the birdbath look like they’re curiously looking at the flowers.


  11. Oh, they are so perfect! I wish I could smell them. I have seedlings coming up and they are about one half inch high! Ha!
    I will get a few.
    I wish I could share vases and jars with you.


  12. I’ve never had much success with growing sweet peas, but I love their fragrance. Peas to eat we seed in March around here, on St. Patrick’s Day, preferably.


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