In a Vase on Monday. Sweet Peas.

Today I have been watering my tomatoes with comfrey and nettle tea. I don’ t have a particular recipe, I just put nettles and comfrey into a big barrel of water and leave it for about four weeks until it smells absolutely disgusting and then it is ready to use. It is a wonderful tonic but I couldn’t get the smell out of my nose after doing it so what could be better than a vase of sweet peas? Usually I am a stickler for using the correct nomenclature when talking about plants but even I am not such a pedant as to insist on calling these beauties Lathyrus odoratus. Of course they can be nothing else but sweet peas. These are doubly delightful because the seeds were a present from my lovely friend Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this meme.

Modern sweet peas such as the Spencer hybrids seem to have bigger, ever more exquisite flowers but at the expense of fragrance and fragrance is the whole point of a sweet pea. And these beauties smell sublime. The varieties Cathy sent me are these lovely old-fashioned varieties . ‘Lord Nelson’ is navy blue, and he was born in the 1890’s. ‘Solway Serenade’ has bi-colour pink and red flowers . The most fragrant of all is ‘Matucana’ and it is also the oldest of all as it dates from the seventeenth century. It is magenta and purple.

With the sweet peas I used some furry pink grass, Pennisetum villosum and pink flowers of Diascia personata.

In with the sweet peas seeds there must have been some vetch seeds, Vicia cracca. When they germinated I thought they must be some unusual sort of sweet peas and now they are flowering I think they look pretty growing up through the sweet peas so I have left them there. They are a perfect match for ‘Lord Nelson.’

To add even more intense fragrance I used some pink lavender.

I think the colours of the little pottery jug are a perfect match for the flowers.

The spiky flower on the left is Salvia greggii ‘Icing Sugar’.

Thank you Cathy for such a lovely gift, I shall certainly grow these beautiful fragrant varieties again next year.

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35 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. Sweet Peas.

  1. bcparkison says:

    My Granddad grew sweet peas and they were every where at the reception for his youngest daughters wedding. They were beautiful…all pastels.( She, my aunt, doesn’t even remember . lol

  2. Cathy says:

    So pleased to see that they have done well for you, Chloris, and how curious that the vetch must have been in with the seeds too! When you have a mix of varieties it is important that they blend nicely together which these do and I am sorry I can’t share the fragrance. You have added some pretty extras to the jug and they work well together, especially the pennisetum. I added S Icing Sugar to the garden last year and it is looking promising and got through the wonter well, albeit a mild one. Thanks for sharing

    • Chloris says:

      The colours all look wonderful together Cathy, it was such a beautiful gift and so thoughtful. It is funny about the vetch, I would never have thought of buying it but it looks so pretty. I have been surprised at how hardy someof the salvias are. As they are so easy from cuttings, it is always wortth trying a few outside.

      • Cathy says:

        You are very much a giver yourself, Chloris…
        Re salvias, it was a mild winter though, so we musn’t get compacent. I still haven’t been able to grow Amistad though, but I do still have a cutting or two that I will nurture and keep in pot for another year

  3. tonytomeo says:

    WOW! That would be impressive even in spring, but is even more impressive now! I do not even try with sweet peas, although I probably will eventually grow them again. Their season is so brief here. Various vetch grows wild of course. So do perennial pea.

    • Chloris says:

      The sweet peas keep on coming all summer here as long as you keep cutting them. Vetch is wild here and I would never have thought of growing it if the seeds hadn’t come along with the sweet peas, but it looks really pretty.

  4. Kris P says:

    I’m always startled when I see sweet peas blooming in the summer as they’re winter/early spring blooms here. I had a particularly poor showing with mine this year but seeing yours I’m committed to giving them an early start the next time around.

    • Chloris says:

      You get bigger, stronger plants if you start them off in the autumn here but you can get them from a spring sowing too. They are a delight and provide vase after vase as long as you keep cutting them.

  5. Your sweet pea vase has such wonderful colors. They are something we can only grow in the “cold” season and all of nature has to align.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I found out from other bloggers that sweet peas don’t like the heat, I didn’t realise. The flowers don’t last long here but as long as you pick them they keep on coming.

  6. Liz, those are so gorgeous I want to get on a airplane to see them and catch their scent. Not this year, though I am looking for seed to try this fall in Florida..taking names. Does our Magic Carpet exclude the evil C??? Keep working on it.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Ah, these are lovely. I thought I finally would know the revered fragrance of sweet peas this year, but it is not to be, thanks to the rabbits. Your sweet peas make a lovely arrangement, the storied history of the names and the fact Cathy passed them along to you making them all the more beautiful.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Susie. Rabbits always eat the tastiest plants. These weren’t pass along seeds, Cathy bought them as a thoughtful gift for me which makes them extra special.

  8. beautiful and sensual bouquet

  9. Your sweet peas are lovely in the vase, and the other plants are great companions. The vase is perfect, too. Comfrey and nettle tea? Interesting; I’ll have to try it!

    • Chloris says:

      It is a wonderful fertilser, comfrey is rich in potassium, it has a higher NPK ratio than manure and nettles are rich in nitrogen so win/ win, apart from the stink which is truly disgusting.

  10. Cathy says:

    Mmm, gorgeous! Our nettle tea is due to be distributed today, but sadly I don‘t have an antidote to the smell like you do! 😉

  11. What a perfect vase! Hope the flowers worked to eradicate the stink of liquid nettle/comfrey fertilizer. I am sure your tomatoes with be wonderful though

  12. Annette says:

    This is a lovely bouquet, Liz, always a tiny bit envious as sweet peas won’t grow here, they hate the heat, so just as well that I can enjoy them here 🙂 , happy summer days to you and the pianist xx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Annette, how lovely to hear from you. Yes, I just found out from several American bloggers that sweet peas don’t stand the heat. And I hope you and Monsieur are enjoying your summer too. One of these days, we will call in and see you, but not this year of course. This year is the year of the garden.

  13. snowbird says:

    Oh, how beautiful, I just love the pastel shades. That furry pink grass is just delightful.xxx

  14. Such a pretty gathering and must be smelling divine

  15. Anna says:

    Simply beautiful!

  16. So lovely! This is something I have never grown.

  17. susurrus says:

    I’m very fond of vetch. There is quite a lot in a wildflower planting along one of my regular walks. It has looked good for a long time and is still going strong. It’s a great idea to use it with the sweet peas.

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