Sweet Peas

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Daisy

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Sweet Peas
« on: June 24, 2013, 07:50:49 AM »
I sowed some seed of Lathyrus odoratus Cupani last autumn.
They started flowering in late winter and when I left for England in the third week in May, they were still going strong.


may 2013 057 by Daisyincrete, on Flickr

When I returned last week however, they were completely finished.
Is this normal for sweet peas in a mediterranean climate.
It is the first time I have grown them here, so I am not sure if that was their normal season, or whether it was simply because they didn't get watered whilst I was absent.
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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Miriam

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 01:49:01 PM »
It is an annual plant and it is normal in the mediterranean climate.
The fact that you did not water the plants helped to end their life more quickly.
agronomist from Rehovot, Israel

Umbrian

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 07:22:26 AM »
Yes, Miriam is quite right Daisy, Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are annuals and although it is possible to grow them in Mediterranean climates their life and flowering period is curtailed once temperatures soar and the soil dries out. I started growing them several years ago as I have fond memories of picking them to put in the house. After my first attempt I was disappointed with their performance. I had sown the seeds in early spring and by the time the plants were in flower the hot weather arrived and they succumbed very quickly as I do not water. That autumn I noticed quite a few young plants had germinated from fallen seed and was pleased to see they survived the winter. These plants grew away quickly in the early spring and started to flower much earlier and therefore gave me flowers over a longer period. Now I just let nature do its job and this year, after an abnormally wet late winter and spring I have had a glorious display that has lasted for many weeks due to continuing frequent rain and lower than normal temperatures. Plants appeared in unexpected places and climbed into surrounding shrubs that gave them natural support and some of the colour combinations were quite stunning such as those of the colour in your 'photo Daisy that grew through a Rosa rubifolia.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Umbrian

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 07:29:15 AM »
Sorry wrong 'photo :( but you can see the profusion of flowers and the height of the plants. That 'photo was taken on June 1st and they had been flowering and growing for many weeks. Now, after a week of really hot weather they are beginning to succumb. The bottom leaves are yellowing and the flowering stems getting shorter but for me this "easy" way of growing thm is well worth while.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Fermi

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 01:19:33 PM »
Hi Daisy,
We grow this same variety of Sweet pea here where it is known as 'Matucana';our summers can get very hot and dry with most of our rainfall coming in the autumn and winter so I consider ours to be a Mediterranean type of climate.
This annual self sows now but does best where it gets some summer watering; "dead-heading" helps prolong the blooming period, but we always let some pods ripen so that the there is a new generation next year.
The seedlings start to appear once we get some rain in autumn and survive our mild winters quite easily.
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

David Bracey

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 04:43:51 PM »
I was once involved in a sweet pea (SP) mystery. New SPs are often bred by SP fanciers in the N of England.  The breeders take selected SPs , make the cross and collect the seed.  This is called nuclear stock and may be as few as 6 seeds.  These seeds are sent to trusted growers to multiply them.   I was called to help an ex SP judge living in the Dordogne, France who was the entrusted grower but all his work resulted in mixed flowers. The judge was besides himself and at his wits end.  The breeders were also loosing patience and valuable breeding lines.

The problem was eventually tracked down to the carpenter bee.  This a solidary heavy bee capable of pollinating a sweet pea flower by weighing down the landing petal Sods law. After that the judge continued his programme inside an insect free outdor cage.

I understand that SPs are commercially multiplied in Malta, Australia nd California where I presume carpenter bees do not exist.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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Fermi

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2013, 08:48:14 AM »
Peak Sweet Pea season here!
Ballerina Blue
Matucana
unnamed dark purple
sweet pea pillars and poppies
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

Daisy

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 07:09:51 AM »
Keep the photos coming Fermi. Even if we don't comment, we enjoy them.
I sowed some more cupani/matacana a couple of weeks ago. They are already 4-5 inches high.
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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Fermi

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 02:05:47 PM »
Daisy,
sorry the sweet peas are just about finished!
We're leaving these to set seed;
The "Ballerina Blue" were second generation and there seem to be two shades at least,
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

Umbrian

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 07:58:23 AM »
With reference to my last post re Californian Poppies the self sown plants of which are flourishing this year, I have noticed that my self sown Sweet Peas are no where near as healthy this year. Although there are plenty of them as is normal they look weak and straggly - perhaps they are not appreciating the incessant rain?
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Fermi

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 08:06:46 AM »
The sweetpeas have been prolific this year, but so far only the 'Matucana' types have appeared,
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

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Fermi

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 01:09:31 PM »
We got some new seed in autumn and grew these mixed "Gawler Sweetpeas" from South Australia
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

Daisy

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2015, 03:58:44 PM »
Thanks for reminding me Fermi. I sowed mine after seeing your last post. They are already coming up amongst the moth balls, that I put on top to keep the mice away.
Daisy ;)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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Fermi

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 02:02:27 PM »
The sweetpeas have been better than ever - but mostly the 'Matucana' type.
They have appreciated the heavier than usual winter rain and the fairly sunny spring,
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Sweet Peas
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2016, 06:11:31 PM »
Is the scent intense and exquisite as claimed in the seed catalogues?
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece