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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson

Sweet Peas Again!



I’ve planted sweet peas every year for over thirty years now. Barring one sad year when all the seeds failed to germinate, I’ve had sweet pea fragrance in our home every spring – aren’t I the lucky one? This year Don grew them too, at a field he shares with another flower farmer. Between the two of us, we had tons of sweet peas.

 

I’ve written about growing sweet peas before (click here and here to read more). This year was pretty much the same as every year – unpredictable germination followed by slow growth in the cool weeks of California winter, then a tiresome period of flopping vines that have to be tied back to their trellis until finally the blooms begin. First there’s a trickle that’s hardly worth picking, then a surge, then suddenly there’s a flood and it’s hard to keep up with harvesting them. To be perfectly honest, I think sweet peas are a bit of a pain in the ass to grow. But they’re absolutely indispensable and I’ll be growing them as long as I’m able to work in my garden!  

 

Here are our 2024 varieties with our assessment.

April in Paris – dependable as always; the most fragrant variety.

Albutt Blue – pretty but the stems were too short; we won’t plant this one again.

Jilly – beautiful ivory color with pale yellow in the early stages. A keeper!

Chiffon Elegance – a mix of early varieties that grows well for me. Sold by Renee’s Garden

Richard and Judy – a deep purple, almost too dark for my taste.

Restormel – bright coral. Hardy plants but not the most floriferous.

Carlotta – hot pink, not too many flowers. We probably won’t grow this one again, but I’m always looking for the best hot pink variety. Maybe I’ll go back to Dynasty.




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