If you like an "Old Fashion" flower with an "Old English" flavor, then you might like to add the Sweet Pea to your garden, yard or patio this spring. The Sweet Pea or formal name "Lathyrus Odoratus" is a member of the legume family (or more commonly known in this case as a pea).
It originated from Italy (Sicily) around the year 1700 and although that well loved fragrant climber is all but extinct, today's climbing and dwarf varieties exists due to the efforts of a Scottish decendent named Henry Eckford who crossbred and developed the Sweet Pea into a floral sensation late in the Victorian Era while working as a nurseryman for an English baron. His son John continued to work developing this loved flower after his father's death in 1906.
Last spring I bought a white, purple and yellow dwarf variety and planted them on the west side (back) of my house and they have practically bloomed all year, so I can't praise this pea enough that has shown so much color on the edge of the garden I am trying to establish. I planted Lantanas and Verbenas in between and behind these three Sweet Peas.
The Sweet Pea is an annual, so you can usually order seeds throughout the year, but plants are generally found mainly in spring ranging in pinks, reds, whites, lavenders and in original purples.
Just like any plant in the legume family, they need full sun, rich loamy soil and regular watering during spring through fall. Some climbing varieties are fragrant and make a great addition to floral arrangements.
Since I've been a little dormant through the Christmas Holidays wishing everyone a blessed green New Year!
Until Next time......
Happy Gardening 2013!
Posted by Wilma Smith