Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sweat Pea is April Flower Month

How can one flower have so much aroma ?  I purchased some Sweat Pea flowers a few days ago as my sweet peas are not ready yet and the whole kitchen and dining room have the most amazing smell.  I wish my birthday flower was a Sweat Pea, mine is March-the Daffodil or Narcissus.  Yes, I like the Paper White Narcissus bulb if that counts as my birthday flower.  But the Sweat Pea flower itself is like paper and the colors can be a wide arrange of muted pastels to dark purples and pinks. When they grow, they do look like a snow pea bush and then they get these blossoms and even the blossoms can have little legs that cling to their stand or screen, whatever is being used to support them.  So fragile and delicate looking but they actually are very hardy plants and flowers. 
To keep them blooming as long as possible, it is better to keep clipping the flowers so it produces more buds.  They will flower and flower until the weather starts to get hot actually the same as the  snow pea plants.

I wish this blog could have a scratch and sniff box so you can enjoy the fragrance as much as I am.
It is interesting because you plant the seeds for Sweat Peas in November.  They can go through the winter and start growing their plants in February and March.  Not all regions can do it but many more than you think.  There is a Gardeners World BBC program where Monty did an experiment (at least it was done in England) where he planted the seeds in November, March, and June to see if it mattered when you actually planted them.  Of course their weather is so much milder than mine but his conclusion was that nature knows best.  The plant did do much better and produced more flowers when planted in November.
You normally do not see Sweat Peas flowers for sale at the grocery stores or even in florist shops.  They have to be special ordered.  But at least in Northern California, most of the local strawberry growers also grow flowers for their Farmer's Markets and road side strawberry stands and they grow Sweat Peas. 
Treat yourself to the sweetest smell ever, buy a bunch at your local Farmer's Market or roadside stand.  Or next fall, buy a package and stick them in the ground around an arbor or trellis, you will be greatly rewarded.  And for those that are having an April Birthday-Happy Sweet Pea Month!!

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