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January 21st 2015

Confessions of a sweet pea addict (plus a sweet giveaway!)

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Floret

sweetpea
Well, it’s that time of year again. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you’re having a similar experience? The blur of the holidays is over and you’re starting to feel a bit stir crazy being cooped up, with those massive stacks of seed catalogs sitting there tempting you.  I’ll tell ya, those catalogs sure are tempting me! They’re egging me on to try just a few more colors of godetia, just a couple more varieties of stock and butterfly snapdragons. Do you know how many beautiful butterfly snapdragon varieties there are? All 17 are just calling from the pages of the catalogs for me to put on another trial.  And don’t even get me started on the bi-colors and novelty types. I get all fidgety and anxious just thinking about how many varieties I’ve never met.

But it is the sweet pea selection that gets me the most. EVERY. DANG. TIME.  I simply can’t help myself when it comes to sweet peas (they were, after all, the gateway that got me hooked on flower farming).  I have a serious problem. Kind of an addiction. Or a disease. But, I can’t think of a more wonderful, beautiful and fragrant problem to have than a hoophouse overflowing with sweet peas.

sweetpeahouse
Over the years, this addiction has led me to grow, trial and test over 40 different sweet peas cultivars. During the trials, I look for characteristics such as: long stems, unique coloring, heat resistance, strong fragrance, consistent flower form, good vase life and most importantly a high stem count.  I’m pretty picky when it comes to the flowers I grow for the professional cut flower trade and sweet peas are no exception. Some of my all-time favorites are ones that are often difficult to find, at least here in the U.S.  I’ve gone to some pretty ridiculous lengths to get my hands on some of this coveted seed!

I’ve been flooded with inquiries from gardeners and farmer-florists who share this obsession and seek growing advice and referrals for seed sources.  I recently created a tutorial, “How to Grow Sweet Peas” in the RESOURCES section after years of research and testing and dreaming, I’m excited to announce that there is a small selection of sweet pea seeds for sale in the Floret Shop.

I carefully selected a handful of my all-time favorite sweet pea cultivars and then scoured the globe in search of highest quality seeds.  Many of the varieties I’ve chosen are hard to find or are not readily available to cut flower growers here in the U.S.  These new limited-edition collections come in gorgeous ombre shades of purple-blues and creames-coral.

StainedGlassSweetPeas
The Stained Glass Collection comes shades of blue, purple, claret, burgundy, sapphire and eggplant and includes a sampling of each of the following cultivars:

Charlie’s Angels
Bristol
Oban Bay
Our Harry
Nimbus
Dark Passion
Erewhon
Windsor

VintageWeddingSweetPeas
The Vintage Wedding Collection is comprised of my favorite sweet peas in shades of blush, cream, salmon, coral and watermelon and includes a sampling of each of the following cultivars:

Limelight
Mollie Rilstone
Jilly
Valerie Harrod
Lisbeth
Happy Birthday
Restormel
Nora Holman

2sweetpeatable
Also in the shop, you’ll find individually packaged Nimbus and Molly Rilstone seeds. These two varieties are the most unique and often requested varieties we grow.

To celebrate these new seed offerings, I thought we should do another little giveaway, one of each sweet pea selection in the shop, including: Stained Glass Collection, Vintage Wedding Collection, Nimbus and Mollie Rilstone.  Enter for your chance to win one of the seed collections by submitting a comment below.  In your comment, briefly share a memory or an experience with sweet peas.  (For example: Are you also obsessed with sweet peas? Will this be your first year growing sweet peas?  Was it one of your grandparent’s favorite flowers, too?  How many types have you grown in season’s past?)

UPDATE:  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.

Thanks in advance for sharing!

270 Comments

  1. Irene Fishburn on

    I lived in Morro Bay…and each spring the hills in the area would blossom with wild sweet peas. My husband would drop me off on a back country road and drive off a ways and park, as I walked the hillside smelling and gathering a bouquet. It would take me a long time to get to the truck…it was the most intoxicating walks

    Reply
  2. Karen Skilling on

    Thanks for all your information about growing flowers. You have given inspiration also for my love of flowers and gardening. I have started reading your Cut Flower Garden I just bought. Thanks again for your passion

    Reply
  3. patricia martin on

    I live just outside New Orleans. As a little girl I always loved sweet peas When I married my mother in law had a love for them and grew them in her yard AT her funeral we were able to purchase a small bouquet I know she would have loved them How do I purchase seeds from you ? is there a catalog It’s now time to plant them in New Orleans (October) I want to give them a try!

    Reply
  4. Karla on

    I’ve never seen so many pretty colors of sweet peas! Your collection is delightful!

    Reply
  5. Kathy on

    Love, love, love these sweet peas. They remind me of my friend Ruth.

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  6. Katherine on

    Sweet peas were the favorite flower of my dear friend Ruth. I’ve never raised them before but I think this is the year to give them a try. They would look lovely against my fence. Love, love, love your website.

    Reply
  7. Rose Santuci-Sofranko on

    I grew Sweet Peas one year and they smelled WONDERFUL! Now that I am into birding I’d love to add more as I think they attract alot of birds. My parents (grandparents) were “into” Hollyhocks and Lilacs….shortly before my momma died I planted Hollyhocks for her next to the house. God bless!

    Reply
  8. Jennie Martinez on

    This will be my first year diving into growing a full fledged cut flower garden. Your blog has inspired me to do this. Seeing the beauty of your flower posts brings joy to my day. Sweet peas would be an additional jewel to my garden.

    Reply
  9. Teresa Krebs on

    I grew sweet peas 17 years ago for my daughters wedding. We searched all over for the right color varieties. They were gorgeous. I have loved them ever since! I would love to grow them again.

    Reply
  10. Jody on

    I would love to be able to experience sweet peas! I tried to grow them last year but they didn’t do very well. Thinking it might of been the seed I purchased.

    Reply
  11. Nicole Mehl on

    You are the very reason I want to try my hand at growing them! I just love the gentle lines and daintiness of the flower. They are just so…sweet! And your photos of them have me smitten!

    Reply
  12. Bridget Tierney on

    I’ve picked wild sweet peas and watch as the color fades from the flowers in the vase.So bizarre.
    It would be fun to grow my very own and leave the wild ones in the wild.

    Reply
  13. Karen Clodfelter on

    I would love to grow Sweet Peas this year, Beauty and Fragrance in one, pick me like a flower.
    Karen

    Reply
  14. Bee on

    I had no idea that there were so many different types of sweet peas :) I have tried to grow them before but unsuccessful. I dont know if it is the dirt around here in Maryland or just a brown thumb. But this year I am going to try again in my raised bed garden ;) I remember first time I saw them over 30 years ago, fell in love with them.

    Reply
  15. Megan on

    Sweet peas have always been in our gardens, since I was a little kid. My Mom loves them, and growing them always reminds me of her.

    Reply
  16. sherryxj on

    Hey~
    I am a sweet Pea obsess from England, and now moved back to China. I have been grown sweet pea over three years, and can’t go without it in my Balcony. The unforgettable sweet scent, beautiful blossom. The cutting flowers of sweet pea are always on the table during flower period. I have brought back with me over 30 Spencer types of Sweet Pea, and trying to sell them in China over taobao. They all from reliable grower. You probably won’t know how much fans that you have in China, people use VPN, and climber over the wall to see your update everyday. Some of your fans bought seeds from me, and saying finally they can grab some pack of sweet pea seeds and grow as their goddess grow. The climate in China are very different in compare with England and Skagit Valley. This is my first year growing attempt in China. Hopefully, we can fight over the hot summer, and it survive. The last thing I would like to ask is the permission of using your photo for sellling some of my varieties I haven’t have picture of. I will put your link on my site, and with water marks where it is from. Hopefully, by this summer, there are sweet pea flowers all over China. Kind regards, Sherry Jiang

    Reply
  17. Kirsten Smrtka on

    Wow! Can you believe how many comments there are?! I had no idea that United Stateseans were so enthralled with sweet peas! Growing up in Zimbabwe we had them climbing up the fences around our tennis courts…and anywhere else there was a trellis or a fence! Such a heady fragrance, and no thorns! Having just moved to the Pacific Northwest I can’t wait to try them out in this climate…especially with your inspiration!

    Reply
  18. Gretal Cromwell on

    My sister and I would pick them wild by the fist full along fences while out on our daily wanderings through the country side of our childhood.

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  19. Jane Smith on

    My favorite memory of sweet peas is when I planted them when my kids were little and they still remember the names and they would fight over the dark purple ones since they seemed to be so rare. The specific fragrance of sweet peas can send me right back to those memorable early spring days. My girls are grown now and Id like to try and grow them again

    Reply
  20. Julianne Sullivan on

    I have loved sweet peas all my life and have grown them for about 20 years…..3 years ago I had bouquets clear until the end of October in Spokane …….I have a room full of sweet pea prints and pictures as well as a stained glass window of my favorite flowers……the last 2 years I have not had good luck with my seeds…..I have worked on the soil and tried diff seeds and no luck so am very much looking forward to your help and to trying your seeds!!!!! Thank you so much

    Reply
  21. Michelle on

    I just adore sweet peas, love them they are such a beautiful, delicate wonderful little flower. The aroma, oh bottle it up and save it for winter. I would love to win your collection, and so glad to see you will be offering them in your shop. Reminds me of my mommy and daddy, they owned a greenhouse, memories and dreams for the future!

    Reply
  22. Jessica Lee on

    This will be my second year at growing sweet peas! I was researching on how to grow sweet peas last year, and after stumbling across your beautiful blog, I was determined to grow some of my own and discover what this wonderful scented flower was all about! I made some rookie mistakes however and battled an aphid infestation as well. Though I didn’t have much success with most of the sweet pea plants, the few that did grow well just brought me so much joy! I am determined to do it right this second time around and to keep good notes on the many varieties I am dying to try this year!

    Reply
  23. Linda Martin on

    To see/smell a sweet pea is to love a sweet pea….

    Reply
  24. Faith Buls on

    I came across sweet peas today, possibly one of my first encounters with them ever and I think I have fallen in love. I have been wanting to start growing some of my own floral myself and these seeds would be a fun way to start!

    Reply
  25. LindaQ on

    Temptation and sheer delight…that is what I feel when I open your blog, look at your gorgeous pictures and start reading what everyone has to say! Just when I thought I was done ordering seeds and tubers there you go again tempting us all with promises of beautiful sweet pea flowers-I had made up my mind to concentrate on growing something new (dahlias) this spring to sell with my granddaughters at our local farmers market but now I just have to try sweet peas also! Thank you for all of your wonderful advice and especially for bringing all of us kindred spirits together to share our thoughts and dreams!

    Reply
  26. Nancy on

    This will be my first year as a flower farmer! Bought a house on 6 acre in August and am looking forward to experiencing the beautiful blooms of sweet peas!

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  27. Amy on

    I so want to see and smell sweet peas, especially after your excellent explanation of why you love them and how they affect so many people.

    Reply
  28. Gina Lee on

    This will be my first time growing these flowers!

    Reply
  29. Cyndi on

    I love sweetpeas. They are beautiful and old fashion with such a lovely mix of colors available. I am going to try and grow them this year in my flower garden for my granddaughter as I call her my sweetpea! : )

    Reply
  30. Norma on

    I was introduces to Sweet Peas by my mom. She loved them so we always bought them for her then as an adult I too came to love them!!!

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  31. Marisa on

    Sweet peas remind me of so many great memories of learning how to garden with my mom when I was a little girl.

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  32. Addison Wilhite on

    We’ve had sweetpeas in our garden for years but I never knew how many varieties their were!

    Reply
  33. CathyB. on

    Sweet peas frustrate me to no end. I keep trying and last year was probably the best but still nothing to rave about. I actually think maybe they just don’t like growing in Canada and then I see my friend at the market and he always has AMAZING sweet peas……so I just keep trying.

    Reply
  34. Cyndee on

    Sweet peas are my all time favorite flower!! I love everything about them…color, smell, and sweet beauty. Your website is so beautiful.

    Reply
  35. Crystal Benson on

    Sweet peas are my mothers favorite flowers. I have been growing them for several years now. I always make a spot in my yard by a fence and just let them cover the fence. There is something so sweet and magical about a boquet of sweet peas. I try to share the wealth and bring bouquets to coworkers, friends, and of course my mom.

    Reply
  36. Jennifer Bingham on

    I fully confess to be a sweet peas addict, and it’s your fault Erin! In fact the whole reason I am a flower farmer is because of your blog, and sweet peas started it all. They are a simply entrancing flower, my favorite, the one most likely to invoke the sweetest memories. I love the reaction when I take a big bouquet to my 88 year old neighbor, she lights up like a christmas tree and get’s teary remembering sweeter times as a child in her mother’s garden. Thank you for being so willing to share your love, passion, and knowledge about this amazing flower Erin. You have inspired an entire new generation of flower farmers!

    Reply
  37. Debbie Lewis on

    I just began following you on Instagram & really just stumbled upon you~through a friend & fellow floral designer, who just recently applied for your scholarship-? {I think}
    Anyway~ I’m completely mesmerized by your beautiful flowers & special artists you’ve featured. So much beauty! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve done flora design now for 14 years. Mostly weddings. I love love love flowers! I live in a sweet little 32 year old country french home in Utah, where I do most of my work from. Each spring, I look out to my large yard in the back- & ‘dream’ of putting in flower cutting & vegetable gardens, to add to my existing herb garden- {that I adore!} & each year I chicken out! I don’t know why!!! But I’d love your gorgeous sweet peas- to give me a little push forward! I’m 58 & afraid I’m running out of sunsets here! Please help me ‘fix’ my problem-with your generous offering of beautiful sweet peas! I love their scent, & gracefulness when I use them in my designs. I too, remember them fondly from gardens past…
    My sister grows them now on her little 14 acre kinder goat dairy farm in Ellensburg Wa. They are sooooo lovely! We took pictures amongst them last summer~ heaven! I love telling my 6 sweet grandchildren, to~ “Put your nose in it!” when we walk around my yard admiring my David Austin roses in the summertime! It’s a favorite ‘new memory’ we’ve made over recent years as they’ve arrived in our family. It always makes us all smile. I would adore growing your pretty sweet peas & invite them to “Put their nose in that!” While watching them all grow! Not to mention- using them in my work!!!! I’ll be crossing my fingers to win, & continue enjoying all of your inspiration & beauty! Thank you again friend~

    Warmly,
    Debbie Lewis

    Reply
  38. julie jo on

    there are few things sweeter than walking down a isle of trellised sweet peas on a warm sunny day, it’s imprinted in my mind like fresh laundry hanging on the line in the breeze, it just forces you to stop and truly LOVE life!!! Some of my fellow farmer friends seem to always be way more on the ball than me and they germinate their sweet peas in late fall/early winter. By the time I have my wheels in gear I feel like I’ve already missed the wagon and I shy away from going for it. It has to change, I must get these blooms into our flower garden, the time is right, this season we are dedicating our home property exclusively to flower production, all veggies and fruits will now be grown down the road on another property. Soo many visions swimming in my head, sweet peas peeking out from the native hedge row perimeters oh yeah, and a few climbing up onto the front porch, so lovely to swing with my first baby surrounded by the scent and sight. ahhh Loving Life indeed!!

    Reply
  39. Helen Hartman on

    Sweet peas Were my grandma’s favorites. She and grandpa farmed in south central illinois. She had the hollyhocks by the chicken coop and outhouse and she grew tuberoses. She planted petunias. And always sweet peas.

    Reply
  40. Tracy on

    While I have not grown many flowers, I am a lover of them. My fondest memory with any link to sweet peas is when my second daughter, Devon, was born. Her then 3 year old sister, Avery, came to the hospital to visit. Ave took one look at her beautiful little sister and proclaimed, “I think I’ll call her Sweet Pea!” As a result, I am a lover of sweet peas, and would welcome the opportunity to start a new garden with them this year.

    Reply
  41. Debbie on

    I was drawn to sweet peas by my Mom telling the story of my Grandpa growing sweet peas for my Aunt to wear as a corsage with the dress that my Grandmother sewed for her to wear for her graduation :)

    Reply
  42. Joyce Pinson on

    My favorite sweet pea memory is hanging clothes on the line when I was a little girl. Each end of the clothesline had sweet peas growing up the poles. Clothes dried on the line picked up the faint scent of sweet peas. This is my first year as a flower grower, looking so forward to adding flowers to my farmers market offerings here in Kentucky Appalachia.

    Reply
  43. Dominique Houle on

    Sweet peas have always been my favorite. The name of my flower boutique from 1997 to 2008 that I adored was called …’Le Pois de Senteur’, or Sweet Pea !
    It is still today my favorite.

    Reply
  44. Adrienne Lee on

    Our sweet peas this season really solidified my commitment to growing our flower business. Not only were they a standout at our farmers markets they brought me so much joy picking them! Grew Nimbus last year, per your recommendation. It was definitely my favorite for making a standout bouquet and it was super productive with long stems. Thanks so much for all you do to inspire and educate!

    Reply
  45. Hannah Elizabeth Maakestad on

    When I was 16 I started my first garden using hüglekultur techniques to grow veggies for my family of 9 (me the middle child of 7). In my garden I gave my veggies the perfect companion, sweet peas. From the time I planted those beauties I’ve been in love with not only sweet peas but also peonies and tulips and I could go on and on. Now I am studying horticulture at Longwood Gardens to hopefully go on to start my own flower farm!

    Reply
  46. Rachel on

    Last year was my first year growing sweet peas. Now I’m hooked! I couldn’t stop sticking my nose into them!

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  47. Emily on

    I fell in love with flowers as a four year old girl living on a hippie commune and farm in the late 70’s. We had to participate in growing our own food and flowers in order to ‘properly’ enjoy them too. The 4-6 year olds were encouraged to plant and harvest strawberries and sweet peas! In the ancient language of flowers they mean blissful pleasure, delicate pleasure, good-bye, departure, adieu and thank you. And, for me, they really do! Sweet peas seem to always appear at moments of transition in my life. Their fragrance reassures me that all will be well. Their return heralds a new day for me. With new possibilities and like old friends. Flowers have been a through line of my life: from Alice in Wonderland’s talking flowers to the power of The Secret Garden, to my first boyfriend writing me love letters including pressed flowers to studying with a famous French floral designer in Boston and finally opening my own floral design studio and boutique in Santa Monica. We have a petite cutting garden at the back of my little shop and we grow mostly bulbs~ freesia, hyacinth, tulips, and then some hydrangea, rosemary and lavender, succulents and orchids, figs and pomegranates~ it would be a true delight to add such special sweet peas to the friends in our own secret garden. “Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle, cracked ice crunching in pails, the night that numbs the leaf, the duel of two nightingales, the sweet pea that has run wild, Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.”

    Reply
  48. nisha on

    i have never grown sweet peas – but after seeing all your delicious pictures i am going to give it a try this year. i am pretty good at gardening and have cultivated a small garden in my yard…but i would love for it to drip with flowers like these! will you also be selling your seed packs?

    Reply
  49. Christopher Micheal on

    I’ve loved growing flowers sense I was about two. I remember me and my mother starting seeds in the sunny windowsill in our living room, and the excitement of watching them grow. It’s a type of magic that has kept me in the world of horticulture ever sense. I always try to grow a few types of sweep pea each season. Last year, I had my best crop to date. I read your blog about sweep peas last year which helped with the success. So thank you for your love of flowers and letting us share in that.

    Reply
  50. Sunny on

    I adore Sweet Peas. I typically favour a flower for either it’s unique form, heavenly fragrance or stunning colour. Sweet Pea is a perfect gift of all of these features. Now only if, I could grow them as gorgeous as yours! I look forward to reading your growing guide and would be ecstatic to try your seeds.

    Reply
  51. Brionie on

    My great aunt who was 7o when I was 10 grew sweet peas….when times were tough at my home, she would whisk me away, have me pick sweet peas? Smell them and let your worries Floyd out the door…to this day Sweet Peas are my favorite and bring instant bliss!

    Reply
  52. Deb on

    Sweet pea is my nickname for my sweet granddaughter Mya. I love the smell and look of sweet peas.

    Reply
  53. Maria Teresa on

    This will be my first season planting sweet peas. During the summer wild varieties cover the path I take to work with my bicycle. I love the color they add to my daily route. Why not have the same color added to my backyard?

    Reply
  54. Pinouille on

    I have grown sweet peas for decades… I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I have ALWAYS loved them, only this year is the very first that I did not plant them, even though my husband made me a great support last year, and I actually have room for them. I am a totally organic gardener and it is just so much work replanting over and over after the birds, slugs, gophers, voles, squirrels, drought, etc. take their share, I decided to make crepe paper ones instead. Not the same, I know, I know…. but what I think I need is a serre (I do not know how to say that in English… a green house like you have pictured) before I attempt it again. One cute thing is a hummingbird made its nest in my sweet peas last year (only to have its nest ransacked)…. I will miss them… really I will. I will miss having all the tendrils in my bouquets… and I will miss pairing deep purple ones with my Butterscotch roses, etc. I really had some great bouquets in the past, but not without spending tons of money (replanting with seedlings purchased… and really boring ones), time and effort.

    Reply
  55. Suzy on

    When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my husband planted a row of sweet peas and made a trellis for them outside the kitchen window…and that was it- I decided to open my flower studio after she was born! They seem to grow better next to the flower field up onto the swing set and I have loved watching from my kitchen window as my children swing and grow with the sweet peas every year.
    I would love, love, love to try more varieties!

    Reply
  56. Nisha on

    I’m sketching out my flower beds on this cold and rainy day and while I’ve never grown sweet peas they are on my list to try. I’m a beekeeper and I like to keep things interesting for the honeys. I think all 30,000 of us would enjoy the blooms…:).

    Reply
  57. Lilach Gaash on

    I was just thinking about sweet peas today! My mother’s remembering day was yesterday and i was thinking of her and how much she LOVED sweet peas. We had a small garden by our house in the northern part of Israel and every year we waited for them to grow. She then filled the house with these beautiful flowers and the house smelled like a field of flowers.
    I miss her and i miss the smell of sweet peas..
    I would love to win and start my small garden and grow sweet peas in So. Cal…
    thanks

    Reply
  58. Jackie Coldsmith on

    Your fascination with sweet peas reminded me of my first time growing them. They were so beautiful and I made a few bunches to sell at market. Customers were amazed, saying, ‘This is great, you just can’t find stuff like this anywhere else!’. Now that I’m growing only flowers this season, I’m so excited to grow sweet peas again and would love to try some new varieties!

    Reply
  59. Paula Hedlund on

    When I was little out neighbor had a 50′ long chain link fence FULL of sweet peas and I have always loved them! I have tried many years to grow then without too much luck. Last year the only seeds that made it were the Cupani and they were amazing! Can’t wait to try again this year.

    Reply
  60. Adrian on

    Last year was my first time growing sweatpeas and now I’m obsessed! I love all the beautiful colors they come in and their amazing fragrance. This year I’m going to buy the more heat tolerant varities because last year they got a little burnt out, but I’m looking forward to trying again!

    Reply
  61. Karyn R on

    I just put together a spreadsheet to finally inventory my (hilariously vast) seed collection. I realized I’ve bought a packet of sweet pea seeds almost every year for the last decade or so. Despite a tiny, shady backyard that is machine-compacted clay and very boggy, I keep trying every year. I’ve only ever had a few flowers here and there – nothing like the long, luscious rows or overflowing hazel tipis I’ve seen on the episodes of Gardener’s World I catch on YouTube. There is something so joyful and full of hope about sweet peas that I can’t help myself but pull another packet off the rack and give it another go each year. This time around I get to garden on an open, sunny, well-drained site – the silver lining of having to move back in with my parents in my thirties. I’m so excited to see someone offering these wonderful varieties instead of the same old mixed packets. Just in time for my first real sweet pea summer!

    Reply
  62. Cheryl W. on

    I have always loved Sweet Peas but never grown them.

    Reply
  63. Janet on

    I’ve never grown them but would love to try.

    Reply
  64. Lauren on

    I adore sweet peas! When my husband and I first met, he would pick me sweet peas as he would walk home from work. They grew wild along the hillside near our street. Now that we live on our own land I cannot wait to start growing ones with longer stems. They are so sweet (no pun intended!) and just looks so cheerful and full of memories whenever they are on our table.

    Reply
  65. Connie on

    I have a love for all of the “old world” flowers….I can’t wait to grow my first patch of sweet peas this year. This is only my second year growing…I have been studying your website inside and out. Thank you for unselfishly sharing your wealth of flower knowledge.

    Reply
  66. jadeappleby on

    Sweet peas are by far my favourite flower. I love everything about them they are so delicate and smell amazing.

    I’ve always been fond of growing them since I was younger, gardening has been something which has been passed down from my Grandad to my Mother and my Mother would teach me how to plant and grow my own.

    When I was around 13 I bought my own packet of sweet pea seeds from the shopping centre. I was so excited and wanted to grow them on my own without my Mother’s help. I planted the seeds but nothing grew for around half a year or so. I got disappointed thinking I’d done something wrong and couldn’t decide what. However, come spring there was a sprout. I’d never been so happy as a child to see that tiny small green sprout. It lifted my spirits and flourished my interest in flowers.

    Reply
  67. Brandon McLean on

    Living in Alaska sweet peas perform amazingly in our cool summer climate. They’re a favorite of my grandmother who loves when I bring them home from the farmers market. I also use them in arrangements I bring to work at the local senior center. I started cordon training them the last few years and have had an amazing turnout, but there’s always room for improvement. I’ve been ordering spencer varieties from the UK so I would be thrilled to start getting the best of the best here in the US. I’d love to see a more popular market here for them.

    Reply
  68. Laura on

    This would be our first attempt to grow sweet peas. We are getting married this June so it would be nice to start something that we can remember planting the year we got married!

    Reply
  69. Rhonda Hinson on

    I have been following your for several years now admiring you for being a flower farmer. I live in Texas and I even purchased your book. I haven’t had to opportunity to try flower farming yet do to limited time from working a regular job, but I would love to have a shot at growing some sweet peas. I do in fact have a green thumb. Please pick me :) Thank you ! Rhonda

    Reply
  70. cassie p. on

    Last year was the first year I tried to grow sweet peas…. None of my seeds sprouted….one year later and a little more educated I’m going to try again. #nevergiveup

    Reply
  71. Julia on

    Sweet peas are so dear to me! I plant a huge 50 ft. row in my garden and give them away as gifts, They just make people smile and I always get a comment like, “This reminds me of my Grandma.” i have never had anyone conjure a negative thought when in the presence of sweet peas!
    I would LOVE to try your selection in my garden. You are such an inspiration to me :)

    ~Julia

    Reply
  72. Sabine on

    My favorite part about selling flowers at market is the memories that people share. One russian customer told me that the sight of my gladiolas took her back to her childhood, as in her village the students traditionally always brought gladiolas to their teachers, like apples for teachers here in the US. One market I had just a few, delicate bunches of sweet peas, overshadowed by larger brighter bouquets. One ladies eyes lit up when she saw them, and she quickly leaned down to inhale their scent. “I’ll take them all.” She never shared whatever memory it was that made her love these sweet peas so, but it must have been a good one.

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  73. Lori DeMers on

    Oh my, what beautiful varieties of sweet peas! Love how beautiful they are and how sweet they smell. They remind me of my Grandma Lena. She loved flowers and had so many varieties. I remember helping her water her flowers and pick a bouquet of flowers and the sweet smell of her sweet peas! This memory is such a wonderful one. I have a green thumb also and enjoy flower gardening! I only wish our ND growing season was much longer!

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  74. Vicki Hebert on

    Some of my most favorite memories of my Grandma Kate are raspberries, green gravensteins, and rhubarb fresh picked from the garden with a bag of sugar as us grandkids ran through her garden down at Titlow Beach near the railroad tracks in Tacoma. It was the 60’s and white sugar, running free and barefoot was the norm. As I ran through my grandparents yard with the additional lot for the vegetable garden, I would always stop, suck on that sugar encrusted rhubarb and just look at this labyrinth of strings on the south side of her house holding up the most beautiful, vivid, sweet smelling flowers. I was one of those kids that was in my own little world…la la land…and was always taken to another world standing in front of grandma’s favorite flowers.

    When I was on my own, 1991or 2, single mom working for the postal service in Rainier OR and had a side of a building with south facing heat I asked grandma how to grow those exotic sweet peas. She told me to soak them in water and put them in a paper towel first…later someone told me to soak and poke them….I did and planted those hard seeds with my very weak labyrinth of string. One late morning after working my shift, I had taken a shower, was wrapped in a towel looking at my little tender 2′ sweeties when I saw a deer out there. I ran out the door buck naked screaming for that deer to get away from those precious jewels. Once I calmed down I noticed my neighbors looking down…I lived on the lower parcel…let’s just say they had a great view of my tirade. I will never forget that most embarrassing moment in my life. But darn it, I did get a few magical blooms that first year.

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  75. Jessica hall on

    Sweet peas are a MUST grow for us this year. Partly because I want to try my hand at growing them for the first time in our high tunnel and partly because they scream romance and swoon me with the inoculating scent they impart. Mainly we will be growing them for my daughters. For christmas they were blessed with a lemonade stand which they quickly set up in our design studio and customized to be a candy shoppe (not bad having one of those in the design studio!) My oldest who just turned five worked hard on a sign, logo and business cards for her and her sister. They christened the stand as the sweet pea shoppe (stop my heart) and every person who steps foot on the property is quickly greeted with my little entrepreneurs asking if they would like some flowers AND candy! Per my girls request we will be growing loads of sweet peas because what other flower goes so sweetly with candy?!?

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  76. Morgan Gardner on

    My grandmother (Grandma Betty) love sweet peas. She always grew a little patch of them in her yard. In the months before she passed, she had me pick a bouquet to set beside her. I brought the bouquet to her nose so she could smell the sweet fragrance. This is my first season growing sweet peas and other varieties. I’m so excited!

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  77. Christina on

    I have never grown sweet peas, but find them growing wild on my walks around my home. I would love to try my hand at them in the garden. My mother called me ‘sweet pea’ growing up, and I too call my little one that at times. So nice for you to share the knowledge from your trials and seeds as well.

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  78. Esme on

    My favorite sweet pea memory is the first time I saw the flower…or at least remember seeing it..I found it so delicate, beautiful and fragrant. Instant love!

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  79. Erica on

    These little flowers seem to make magic! Would love to try all of the ones you are featuring. Bring on spring!

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  80. Laura Kelsey on

    Sweet peas are my favorite flower to grow from seed. Also, I call my kids sweet peas.

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  81. Eowyn on

    Oh, those photos just make all worldly ills disappear!!! We finally managed to extract ourselves from NYC and are living our upstate dream. For me this includes 3/4 acre to play with and I have been dreaming hard this winter. My vegetable seed order is in, but flower planning remains. I am lusting after early morning flower harvests with newly liberated kitty cats trailing after me. Thanks for sharing the gorgeousness you do!! xE

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  82. Elise Luck on

    I started growing Sweet Peas 4 years ago in my small garden plot. I ended up ordering all of my seeds from the UK because they had the most heirloom, unique and fragrant varieties! They were all so fabulous but in general, very short stems. I would love to try some longer stem sweet peas and hope you pick me for your giveaway, as I have lots of land now and not many seeds to fill it.

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  83. Christina Ariel on

    I’m so happy I happened about your blog, and specifically this blog post. I have been following you through your photos via Instagram, but had never been much of a blog-keeper-upper.
    I adore this post. And the stories that stem from all of these women holding such fond memories of a flower. What a gift to have such a connection with and organism so beautiful and gentle.
    The sweet pea was my mother’s favorite. Always springing, hanging, sitting, laying about the house. I wish I could convey the sweetness that truly radiated from my mother. Her gentle heart, and warm words for every one in the world.
    This is my first year nurturing a sweet pea. I haven’t much of a green thumb, let me tell you. But I try and try, in hopes of being the vessel through which others may be able to grow memories from flowers as well. I’m thinking sweet peas will be my lucky adventure.

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  84. Cat B on

    The stained glass collection blows me away!! I love any flower in the blue-purple range, and hope to grow my first sweet peas this year! Thank you for all of your hard work! :)

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  85. Heidi on

    An old fashioned love… a favorite for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing your collection.

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  86. Kate Snapp on

    My wedding bouquet was sweet peas… all those lovely ruffles, the fragrance, the amazing curves of their stems. They are intoxicating! We completely renovated our front & back yards & gardens last summer, and now I have 2 raised beds, perfect for growing sweet peas! I love pink ….. well, all colors… but really PINK and every color close to or related to pink! How crazy could I go for this! (A LOT!) Thank you for considering me a worthy receipant!

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  87. Annie on

    After renting a house just on the exterior of my towns downtown, my roommates and I realized the gated half acre beside our property was actually ours to use. Complete with a veggie garden, fire pit and apple tree. For years I’ve wondered around neighborhoods with luscious flower gardens dreaming of the time when I can have my own, and it looks like that time is upon me now. These beautiful sweet peas would add a touch of grace and a whole lot of luck to my new found garden. :)

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  88. Susie Marie on

    I LOVE your Flower Farm .. just simply GORGEOUS! I just moved from California to Alabama and looking for land so I can Farm Flowers! Sweet Peas are so beautiful and if I won these, this would be my first time growing them .. guess I will need to go grab a guide from your shop as well! PICK ME .. :)

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  89. Shari from Texas on

    Last year was my first try at sweet peas and we loved everything about the few handfulls that we were able to harvest! I can’t wait to enjoy them again this year & hopefully brighten someone else’s day too!

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  90. Lindsey on

    For as long as I can remember my family has visited the farmers market weekly. When I was little there wasn’t much cash left over but my mom always found a few dollars to buy a bouquet of sweet peas. They are simple in their beauty and remain one of my favorites.

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  91. Katherine Holland on

    This would be my first spring growing them. They remind me of my grandmother .

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  92. Michelle Van Eimeren on

    My very first memories of flowers was with my grandmother, she had an amazing rose garden and lovely big camellia trees. I used to get in trouble for picking them! In the back garden she had loads of fruit trees and there was a swing strategically placed under one of them which was helpful in picking the green fruit as I often couldn’t wait. The one thing I remembered the most was my Nan’s sweet peas, she had them growing up against my pop’s aviary out of an old pink toilet, it looked crazy but quirky and beautiful! I loved the smell of them and would put them in my plaits.
    I now have my own garden and have planted roses dedicated to my late grandmother but have yet to try sweet peas. I am quite keen to try this season as the love of flowers through these earliest memories is what drove me to become a floral designer, I primarily do weddings and events and finally feel at home in myself. I’m currently planning a selection of things to plant and sweet peas are high on my list. Love all the colors :-)

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  93. Nikki Watters on

    I’ve grown sweet peas for the past 6 years or so. No special varietys, just whatever seeds I find at the nursery. They remind me of my childhood summers. My mom planted them every year (still does) and the smell is always so nostalgic. I plant them by the steps leading to our front porch so I see and smell them every time I walk in the house.

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  94. Kjerstine Loftus on

    Love this blog post, it tugs at my heart strings, because my grandma was an avid sweet pea lover! She passed away 10 years ago, was one of my best friends and her love for gardening and flowers instilled my love growing up and now. I’ve never attempted growing sweet peas mostly out of fear of them not being as glorious as my grandmas. But oh how she loved sweet peas; their fragrance and their delicateness. I remember growing up and spending summers with her- by the time I would awake each morning she would already be finishing her round of gardening for that part of the day- she had the most impeccable garden/yard!
    I would love some new seeds to start my venture of sweet pea growing, perhaps she would be looking down proud that I tried!

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  95. Kristin @ Reveriemade on

    They say our sense of smell is the strongest sense we have, so it makes sense that the lemony-fresh scent of sweet pea always takes me back to that first time I purchased them as a cut flower. I didn’t know much about cut flowers at the time, looking back; but I knew enough to fall in love with sweet peas (and do we ever really need another reason, when it comes to flowers?) One of my 2015 goals is to finish planning out a garden of all my favorite zone-friendly blooms, and to plant the ones that bring me the most joy. Sweet peas are in the plans (I’m in zone 6-7) and our cool, moist soil mixed with warm sun seems to be a fitting combination. (I’d probably put something low in front of them, in the bed, so the roots don’t scorch; while I prefer to sleep under warm blankets with the cool air on my face, sweet peas seem to prefer just the opposite!) To start my sweet peas with seeds from Floret would be such a dream; I’ve admired your work for years (as both a farmer and florist). Thanks for offering this contest!

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  96. Jeanne on

    You say sweet pea and I fondly remember my grandmother. She used to cut them from her garden and place them in proper little teacups on her kitchen window – the peas would overflow the cups, their tendrils reaching out beyond the saucers. Her sill was a garden of color. When cleaning up after a meal at the sink, I could smell their fragrance and could stand there forever. Made washing dishes by hand not so bad at all. Actually, maybe that was her plan! :) I would love to grow some, put them in teacups, and share and enjoy them with my friends and family, to start new memories! You certainly chose some beauts – your collection is great!

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  97. Mollie costley on

    I hope that this year I get addicted to sweet peas too! It would be my first time growing them!

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  98. aundi on

    Stunning!! I’ve yet to try my hand at sweet peas, but I am excited to try it this year! Thank you for posting this, and the growing guide! I love the vintage wedding collection. So much fun!

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  99. Sara Monroe on

    Sweet peas were the first flowers I planted with my mom when I was a little girl. They have always held a special place in my heart, bringing wonderful memories of being with my mom and loving the feel of the dirt in my hands and the smell of the earth as we prepared our little garden space.

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  100. D Lovik on

    Ah Sweetpeas are a dream! I can’t help but swoon over their delicate and whimsy nature. I have never grown them, but it is on my bucketlist for life because as a florist they are a must have item, and an honor to create with! Such magic and beauty in a piece with Sweetpeas. love!

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  101. Fanny on

    When my husband’s aunt put ladys mantle in my wedding bouquet I was told they were his grandmother’s favorite flowers. I never thought much of them as cut flowers before, but now I love them. Last summer my mother in law told me about how my husband’s grandfather would grow sweet peas among all of his veg, so this year I will give sweet peas a go for the first time. From what I’ve heard my husband’s grandparents were wonderful people and even though I never got to meet them I like growing their favorite flowers. It makes me feel like I still get a small part of the two people that were so important in the upbringing of my loved one.

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  102. Kim on

    Sweet peas are a favorite of mine. I don’t know that I have much history with them – if I saw any as a child, I do not remember it – but it certainly feels like I’ve been around them my whole life. I love their scents, their gorgeous colors and textures! I cannot get enough of them and love sharing little bouquets of them with friends and neighbors.

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  103. Marion on

    My Grandfather loved flowers and always had them all over his farm. My favorites were the pansies, sweet peas and gladiolas. Your stained glass collection sounds beautiful !

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  104. Lisa chirayath on

    Our first year selling cut flowers at market was also my first year of finally succeeding at starting sweet peas. That year my daughter would cut all I had and make a boquet for the little girl in the stall next to us….I dream of overflowing hoop houses of sweet peas.

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  105. Bonnie on

    I started growing Sweet Peas 2 years ago and they didn’t do real well. Last year I took your advice and read the book, “Better Sweet Peas” By George Ball and grew them in the high tunnel. They were wonderful. It pays to learn what each flower likes before you plant. I will continue to grow Sweet Peas every year. My customers love them and so do I.

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  106. Shelly on

    As a little girl all I remember about my aunt’s garden was how delicious I thought the sweet peas smelled. I’d sit next to them and breathe as deeply as I could time and time again, for what seemed like hours. To be honest, what I really wanted to do was giggle while rolling back and forth in them. :)

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  107. Joanne on

    This will be the first year growing them…a learning experience…I love the sweet smell..

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  108. Cristina on

    I have been DREAMING of planting sweet peas for so long and this will be my first year in a new garden where this dream could come true. This gift of seeds would mean the world to me!!! It feels perfectly timed as if by magic. Fingers Crossed!

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  109. Sarah on

    Sweet peas will always have a warm place in my heart. I grew up appreciating my grandparent’s love for their sweet peas in their garden and began forming my own deep, unbinding love for them at a very young age. I have never had a garden to grow sweet peas of my own but oh, how I look forward to the day I can!!

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  110. Yelena Shumakova on

    I’ve never grown sweet peas myself, but have coveted and envied those neighbors who have grown them! I remember as a child in Russia, sneaking into neighboring dachas (summer gardens and homes) and stealing flowers – dahlias, sweet peas, daffodils (all of the beautiful varieties!) and peonies – were some of my favorites! I got scolded so many times by the neighbors and my grandmother! But in secret, my grandmother always told me that the neighbor’s raspberries always tasted better and that she was sure that their flowers smelled sweeter! She never seemed to have stayed angry at me for too long.

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  111. Marina Hinkle on

    I’ve never had the opportunity to start growing my own garden before , but by the time spring moves around I should be ready ! In hopes of moving to a home with plenty of gardening space ! I love the variety of colors along with the elegance of this flower ! They certainly would not go to waste.

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  112. Alison Graham on

    I absolutely love the scent of fresh sweet peas! They are also such a beautiful and feminine flower that adds great texture to bouquet. As for favorite memory-well that would have to be my mom calling me “sweet pea” all the time as a little girl and once in a while now. Who can resist such an adorable nick name?

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  113. Jody on

    Last year I had the lovely opportunity to “pop-up” at a Garden shop here in Michigan called, Detroit Garden Works. I had loads of garden roses, delphinium, parrot tulips, flowering branches and bunches of sweet peas. When people saw them they stopped and stared and delicately touched them and shoved their noses into them! And then came the stories, memories of their childhood in England or their Grandmother’s gardens. It was the only flower that solicited such cherished moments in people’s lives. I had no idea! They bought them up and carried their precious bundles home. I’ll be sure to bring more bunches next pop-up and maybe a box of kleenex…

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  114. Krishnabai on

    I love sweet peas! I have never had much success with growing them, but maybe this year will be the year!

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  115. LeAnne Anderson on

    Sweet peas were a favorite of my Mom, they always make me think of her. I always try to have at least a small patch every year and keep fresh bouquets in the house. Such a sweet memory.

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  116. Jill G on

    Sweet peas! There is nothing like them! The graceful way they grow, the fragrance, the gorgeous colors! The world would not be the same without them!

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  117. kim on

    We started growing sweet peas because they are my husband’s mom’s favorite flower, and she lives in Australia. This spring she is coming to visit – so we’ll be growing extra!

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  118. Jamie sammons on

    Sweet peas seem like the most magical flower of all and honestly I have only tried to grow sweet peas once and was unsuccessful. I think it was the seed company I used and the quality of the seed. My goal this year is to grow the most beautiful and unique varieties with success. I long to smell their scent and be able to work them into my wedding bouquets.

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  119. Terri on

    I used to grow Sweet Peas outdoors….I’m definitely going to grow some in my high tunnel this season! I miss them!!

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  120. anonymouse on

    Not the happiest memory, but I was inspired to try to grow sweet peas from seed last year. I ordered some gorgeous ones from England, started them, they germinated….and they sort of yellowed and then dried out and died. I think maybe I started them too soon and they didn’t have enough sunlight (they were in front of a south facing window, with grow lights) but not sure. Anyway, they’re gorgeous, so I want to try again!

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  121. Julie on

    I’ve never grown sweet peas, have only seen them once, and do not even know what they smell like. How can that be? Sounds like a wonderful flower to start growing!! Love all the colors!

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  122. Siri on

    Oh Erin, this post is giving me the vapors!! For years we had given up growing sweet peas because of massive, horrible aphid problems… But last year I was determined to try again, because I love them so. And it worked! No aphids, but also not the strongest plants or the longest stems. I have so much to learn.

    Speaking of grandmothers, my grandma (who turns 92 in a few weeks and who still lives out on the island all by herself!) threatens every spring that she’s not going to put in a garden this season, as it’s just too much work. But each year without fail, up goes the sweet pea trellis. She can’t resist, and neither can I ;)

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  123. Carol on

    Just love sweet peas. I live near Winnipeg, Canada and sweet peas are something I have grown for years, but love to try new varieties. I, too, am a flower farmer…..although flower farming in our area is quite different from your area. My challenge is to get them in the ground early ( early means end of April), and then later in August it can get too hot. Always a challenge, and would love to have your long growing season.

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  124. Beverley on

    I somehow found your blog and your story about sweet peas and not only did it remind me of my childhood, it inspired me so much to redirect my life to follow my passions too AND I scraped it together to attend your April workshop which I’m so excited about. I thought, if you can do it, so can I. I even persuaded my friend to join me, talk about dreams coming true. My mom always had a wonderful flower and vegetable garden and every spring, the scent of sweet peas filled our house and I loved picking them. I have never tried to grow them before. 2015 is a year of firsts for me. I would love to try the Stained Glass collection and can’t wait to meet you and learn from the best.

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  125. Joanne on

    We have grown sweet peas for several years now and I visit the sweet pea fence, when in bloom daily, to just smell. Market customers stop by our table and smell the sweetpeas all summer.

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  126. erin on

    this will be my first year growing sweet peas. i have always loved their fragrance and how beautiful they look in my white pitchers. new year and mostly a blank canvas for a garden — i am giddy with anticipation.

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  127. Kerry on

    Sweet Peas are some of my very favorites. My husbands Mom was a florist and I remember the first time he took me to meet her, there were lovely flowers such as the Sweet Peas and their fragrance was unforgettable.

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  128. Tammy Howard on

    Sweet peas have been the workhorse of our little flower farm for the past few years. Here in Montana, even when I start them inside, they end up flowering in July. But they last well into the fall for us. Unfortunately last year the deer really enjoyed them :(. Those and the sunflowers…I have a new plan this year–with all sunflowers and sweet peas in a location that the dogs frequent–that should keep the pesky buggers away.

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  129. cindy tarrant on

    Don’t know when the cutoff for entry is, but I thought I’d try. Earliest memory: two years ago. I saw them on your blog and had to try them. Who knew they would grow in the Georgia heat! I just opened my flower shop and I grow sustainably to sell there. I also just got a Whole Foods contract. I’m so excited. I would love to share sweet peas with Georgians who never see them except shipped in from Japan and other far away places. Thanks so much for your giveaways.

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  130. Amy Berlinsky on

    I work at an organic veggie and fruit market farm in Boulder County, Colorado and have been proudly tasked with leading the flower gardens. Sweet peas were my number one varietal must on the flower garden plan this year, however mostly for personal reasons, but I know my love is shared by many! And in my determination to be successful with this crop, just last week I read your incredibly informative article about successful bed prepping and growing techniques and am feeling confident. I can’t tell you how much what you share means. I have already ordered some varieties from your classic big veggie grower catalogs, but to have seeds from your tested and trued personal collection would be an amazing and special honor! I feel like I would be carrying on your legacy in my mission to promote slow flowers in Boulder County. They are all so weep-worthy beautiful…but those coral blooms make me melt!!!

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  131. Maria Maxit on

    It’s the memory of these that will soon be that I will speak of. I have been a floral designer for 10 years and my mother has never seen me work with sweet peas! She is about to start on her own intense back yard garden and would love to spoil her with future memories of the ones she will have from your seeds!! :-) Here’s to future memories!!

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  132. Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas on

    I have been a floral designer for 27 years. But this is my first year trying to grow flowers for inclusion in some of my arrangements. I haven’t tried before because I was always a little afraid of failing. But I am starting small with two 10 foot long beds. I can “grow” from there.

    I would love to try to grown some sweet peas in my brand new raised beds. I love the ruffled petals of the sweet pea and their lovely scent. Some of the varieties smell a little like Fruit Loops to me.

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  133. Jane Stratton on

    Hoping to get the opportunity to have these gorgeous, fragrant flowers in my flower field for our upick customers!

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  134. squiresstarlie on

    My memories of growing sweet peas are a distant one. When I was a little girl growing up on a farm in Washington, I liked to ride in the pickup truck with my dad to change the water or to pick up supplies In town. I liked our little outings and the smell of dirt and diesel mixed with the fragrance of the orchard fruit he tenderly cared for. I admired his smile and the kindness he showed to all that greeted him. The store we visited on occasion to pick up supplies, had a wire display with all kinds of seed packets tucked inside. I always stopped right at that spot while dad gathered his supplies. I dreamed about each packet and what they contained and wondered how could I help nature create something as beautiful as the picture on the packet. Dad saw me day dreaming and picked up seed packets of every variety of flowers on the display rack, put them with his supplies and smiled. No words were needed he knew what I was thinking. That spring and summer were my favorite. I was old enough to take care and nurture what I had planted in my little flower garden. The sweet peas, oh the sweet peas…what a fond memory and the fragrance still lingers in my mind when I think of those days. I have since moved to many cities, missing the country and the dirt under my feet. My heart calls me home and this spring, on my daddy’s farm, together we are planting sweet peas. I’m a floral designer and have had many opportunities over the years to create beautiful things but what I enjoy the most is growing and gathering natures bounty to create the magical designs. I know where the flowers came from and that is what is so satisfying to me as a designer. I would love the sweet peas that I plant on my dads farm to be these choice varieties you love so much. You inspire me They inspire me.

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  135. Wanda Fox on

    Hello Erin,
    It was a picture of you holding a beautiful bouquet of sweet peas in a Victoria Magazine that convinced me that I too could be a flower farmer. Little did I know how “little” I knew and how huge my learning curve. I didn’t even know what sweet peas were! I only knew about crops so big that you needed a combine to harvest them! I so much prefer hArvesting with a cool pair of hand snips! So having watched you scale mountains that are huge, I have put on my climbing boots over top of my hip waders and I am going to learn to be a flower farmer florist! Cheers to the best year ever…….2015 here I come!

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  136. Katie on

    I’ve never grown sweet peas before and this year will be my first experience! I’m really excited! I’ve grown regular sugar snap peas and they almost never make it from the plant to the table because I’m too busy eating them up while I’m harvesting. And really, I’ve never encountered a sweet pea before. Isn’t that sad! I’ve only seen them here or in English gardening tv shows. So I have a very romantic dream of growing them and finally smelling them!

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  137. Ezra on

    I also have a grandmother that has made me love sweetpeas. She has grown them for almost 70 years, and they are the fragrance of my youth. That’s they beauty of these plants, their inheritable nature!

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  138. Barbara Rietscha on

    We grow sweet peas in our greenhouse for the start of our farmers’ market season in May. I too look for long stems and a profusion of flowers. Sweet peas are a customer favorite especially with elderly British men! They are also a favorite snack food for voles. We had a pesky one last winter which we could not catch. As soon as a shoot popped up, he ate it. We finally had to cover the shoots with red solo cups at night to stop the little thief! I’d love to give these varieties a try. Thank you.

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  139. Carolyn on

    Sweet Peas….one of my go to favorites……the delicate colors, the delicious smell never fails to bring a smile to my face. I’ve been growing them for quite a few years now, even prior to my dream of becoming a farmer-florist began to hatch. I love to go out pick my sweet peas very early in the morning before I leave for work, there is nothing better than that the early morning light and all is quite & still as everyone is still asleep. I take bunches of them to the office to put on everyone’s desk & hope that they can take a minute out of their day to enjoy all their beauty. I also give them as gifts in return for another mum bringing my kids back from soccer training which steals me an extra hour in my garden – I have never met anyone that does not enjoy receiving a posy of sweet peas.

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  140. maegan on

    this will be my first year attempting sweet peas. ive chosen the elegance and incense series from what is readily available, will experiment with the royal and old spice mixes alongside them, and if i have success i would love to try one of your suggestions. those coral and deep blue colors are absolutely stunning.

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  141. Erin Walsh on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas as well. Im a little intimidated but super ready/excited! Im not sure iv ever smelt a sweet pea flower (crazy I know) so I cannot wait. You inspire me.

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  142. Ashley Malcolm on

    Last year was my first year growing sweet peas. I followed your instructions, but not to the tee. Mine didn’t have long stems, but they were awesome. They are so dainty and old fashioned. I put them in jelly jars and sold them at the market and customers swooned and were transported back in time just seeing and smelling them! I’m going to grow them again and would love to add some of yours to my crop this year.

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  143. Alissa on

    I first came to love sweet peas when I was working in home health care for a woman named Lydia. She was at home in the garden and we spent most of our time together talking about her extensive variety of flowers, trees and bushes. She introduced me to so much and our time together seemed to pass too quickly. I had no idea at the time I would be working in the floral industry but I often find myself thinking of Lydia and her sweet peas.

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  144. Misty on

    Sweet peas!!!!!! My Grannie always grew sweet peas in her entry way and had a vase of these romantically, fragrant beauties in every room of her house. to this day, I’m taken back to sweet summertimes at Grannies with every wiff.

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  145. Becky on

    Dude Frailey was the toughest farm woman I ever met. But growing on the slope up the drive to the house was the most beautiful patch of perennial sweet peas. Her husband, Russel, once mowed them and was never allowed to mow the yard again. Come to think of it, that was his plan all along! Certainly a pair those two.

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  146. Erin D on

    This is my second year growing sweet peas! I love the smell, the color and delicate beauty they bring to an arrangement! I love love love the dark rich colors to the soft sweet pastel.
    My grandma had a beautiful row of lilies of the valley alone my grandpas shop, the smell was so wonderful! She grew large roses, that I always was impressed by their color. Both of my sets of grandparents and my mother grew such beautiful gardens! I would pretend I was a princess in their gardens. I got my love for the garden from them. It brings me such joy to watch my garden transform from the bitter cold to a lush green beauty!
    Thank you Erin for all inspiration and knowledge!

    Reply
  147. carol on

    My mouth dropped open when I saw that gorgeous bunch of stained glass sweet peas. Incredibly beautiful. I must confess I have no wonderful memories of sweet peas, no grandmother’s garden, but this is the first year that my husband and I are living in a place we know we’ll be settled in for a long time. We’ve moved three times in the last 4.5 years and now we can finally call a place home. So while I don’t have fond childhood memories of sweet peas, I would like to create my own memories by planting my own flowers — having my own garden to admire. I’ve been itching to lay down roots somewhere, literally and figuratively, and I can think of no better way to start than with these lovely sweet peas.

    Reply
  148. Kelly E. on

    Sweet peas are in my top three favorite flowers (along with peonies and lilacs). I have fond memories of my grandparent’s house and the row of sweet peas that lined the fence along the driveway. It was always my favorite times of year when we would pull up and see them so delicately draped against the wire fence. Grandma had every color imaginable, and I would walk along with her while she let us smell them, touch them, and sometimes we would pick some to give to my Mom. My Grandma is gone now, but sweet peas will always remind me of her and those memories of walking the fence with her. I moved to the East Coast a year after she died, and sweet peas aren’t something you see a lot of where I live (instead we have magnolias, azaleas, camellias, etc. – all lovely in their own right!). On a trip to New Orleans a few years ago, we were walking around the Garden District when I came up two sweet peas – one red and one purple – interlaced in a wrought iron fence. I think I shocked my husband with the squeal of excitement and subsequent tears that started flowing. It was like an instant flashback to childhood and my sweet Grandma. I would love to carry on this memory / tradition with my own children someday. Thank you so much for the chance to win and the trip down memory lane!

    Reply
  149. Jackie on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas, but I don’t expect the assorted seeds I have from seedsavers to have as much color variation as yours. I cannot believe I haven’t discovered them before just this past year. I’d only heard of the vine as a nuisance, and passed by products with the artificial Sweet Pea scent, but I have to say I’ve never held one in my hand. I am so excited to discover everything about their beauty through growing them!

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  150. Jackie on

    What’s your favorite color? Pizza topping? Podcast? Do you have a favorite movie or type of music?

    I have always been the type of person (and I recognize completely that I am a member of the majority here) that simply can’t decide. Committing to an absolutely favorite seems impossible: I love pastels but decorate my office in jewel tones. I hate pepperoni but I’ll eat it if someone else really wants it on their pie. Podcasts are too difficult to choose between, I won’t even go there. And depending on the day, “Out of Africa” might top the list of favorite flicks, but “The Hangover” is more entertaining. Let’s be real here: nobody has a favorite type of music, rather a least favorite type and in my case that is definitely One Direction.

    I don’t have a great success story about growing sweet peas, and my grandmother grew everything under the sun with monumentally equal adoration for each and every stem, but I will say this much about sweet peas: they are my favorite. Always have been, forever will be. In all shades and in any arrangement they have stood out as a soft, feminine, unique and timeless. In planning our upcoming wedding, I have flipped through several magazines and thought “that is a beautiful arrangement and a creative tabletop, only I would use sweat peas”. So, that’s what we are doing, totally copying some gorgeous magazine tabletop and replacing all the stems with sweet peas. Like, all of the stems. My commitment is that legit.

    Reply
  151. Meggan on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas, and I cannot wait to fall in love with them like I have with every other flower I’ve grown :)

    Reply
  152. Aura Ellis on

    Oh happiness on your blog today. Just made me smile. The colors bring me pure joy. I can almost smell them right now. Lord help us it’s January in Maine. Needing some sweet pea love. I have dabbled with growing many varieties from Enchanting Sweet Peas and been very satisfied. I’m just getting back in the swing of things here at Brookfield Botanicals and will be growing them again this year very excited to test yours out. I’m excited to have my two little girls have the sweet smell of sweet peas as their memory growing up. My favorite is also finding the wild variety along the beaches here in Maine. Always feels like treasure.

    Reply
  153. Jenn on

    I have become an addict like you Erin. After reading all of your wonderful and informative posts last year, I find myself spending hours on sites like Owl Acres and Enchanting Sweet Peas trying to decide which varieties to choose. And I always over order. But really.. there never can be too many sweet peas right? Making room in my basement this weekend for all the seedling trays!!!

    Reply
  154. Kristen Carrier on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas in unheated hoophouses so it’s a very exciting time. I have read your blog on growing sweet peas at least 50 times, and was just about to put my order in with Enchanting Sweet Peas. They are the most beautiful flowers, so many amazing colors so prolific!

    Reply
  155. LeeAnn on

    I have never grown sweet peas but I forage for them every spring. I scout out spots along bridges and roads and do drivebys until I see those magenta blooms. Sometimes I can find a pale pink or purple. I often wonder who planted them. Birds? Adolescent girls? A stealthy garden club? It’s a fun spring ritual.

    Reply
  156. Julie on

    Earlier today I was on your website reading about sweet peas, so I was so excited to now see that you are offering a giveaway. I remember both my grandmother and mother growing sweet peas in their flower gardens while I was growing up. I also grew them in my own little garden when I was a young girl. It’s planting season here in Arizona, and I was thinking of getting some seeds as a Valentine’s gift for my 18-year-old daughter. Then the love of sweet peas would pass to the fourth generation.

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  157. kate swift on

    I too an a sweet pea nut. They went in the very first hoophouse I put up 10 years ago. I grow many of the same varieties as you and can’t get enough of them. I’m sure you’ve found White Frills as well but, if not, try it. hands down the best white I have ever seen. I’m going to grow them outside for the first time this spring to try and extend the season. Hopefully they will be coming on when the hoophouse planting starts to wane.

    Reply
  158. Lorna on

    I’ve never grown sweet peas, but they are one of my favorite flowers. I’d love to grow some.

    Reply
  159. Julianna on

    Arranging flowers is a sculptural process for me, and sweet peas are one of the most invaluable materials to work with. Their form creates a graceful airiness, whimsical and sweet. I add them at the end usually and it makes the bouquet feel like it was picked in a secret garden. On their own they are the most special handful of sweet delicate jewels, best set on a woman’s bedside table I think! I’ll be growing a small experimental garden of my own for the first time this year, I will most definitely be trying out sweet peas! Thank you for the growing guide support!

    Reply
  160. Ariana on

    I followed your sweet pea blog posts step by step for my first year of planting sweet peas (last year). I grew two varieties that were easily available to me, not being aware of things like stem length and vase life: Royal Mix and Old Spice Mix. Both grew exceptionally well trellised outside in the garden. I ended up with a thick, flourishing vine and lots of blossoms that I continued harvesting through the end of September. I loved the sweet aroma of the flowers and the way the light shone through them all summer. They were a great photography subject all season for me and for visitors to the garden, and sold well. My observations however were that the more I harvested the shorter the stems of newer blossoms became, and my customers told me that they were the first thing to wilt in bouquets, though they also loved them. So clearly this year I would like to grow varieties that have a longer vase life and longer stems. I also had a challenge with aphids at the end of the season (any organic suggestions?!). Overall though I would say my first season of growing these beauties went very well, and I look forward to growing more this year!

    Reply
  161. Megan on

    This will be our first year growing cut flowers (other than a handful of zinnias and sunflowers here and there) and sweet peas are at the top of my list. They’re just beautiful and remind me of all of the flower gardens my grandmother and her sisters had when I was younger. I know they grew tons of flowers, but sweet peas and morning glories growing up everywhere are what I remember when I close my eyes.

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  162. Kristen on

    When I took my first stab at growing the sweet peas last spring, I didn’t dig deep enough or add enough compost to that nonexistent deep trench. As a result, my seeds germinated but didn’t grow beyond a height of 6 inches and melted when it got too hot. I’ve been dreaming of their fluffy petals and sweet perfume ever since, and I want another shot! Lessons learned!

    Reply
  163. Tracy park on

    when I bought my house in 1992 sweet peas grew in a over grown area space in the yard. I loved seeing them bloom. I had to move that garden and they didn’t make it. So here in Michigan they grow wild along the road side. I stop many times when I am out during the season and pick as many as I can. I have even stopped at peoples homes and ask if I can pick theirs growing. I would love to start a new garden of them.

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  164. katie on

    sweet peas have forever been one of my favorite flowers. I look forward to growing some of my own this year and would be thrilled to plant some of your personal favorites!

    Reply
  165. Kelly G. on

    My love for sweet peas knows no bounds. Rarely do I find them around my home in Ann Arbor, so this is the first year that I’m attempting to grow them. Fingers crossed! With the help of generous guides, I hope to be successful!

    Reply
  166. Monica on

    I haven’t grown sweet peas before, but like many others, have admired them from afar and plotted each year to add them to my garden. I think that growing a new variety is always a bit scary for me, you never know how that first year will go. Last year I added dwarf sunflowers and loved the results, but learned a lot! I’d love to do the same with sweet peas this year. :)

    Reply
  167. Lindsay on

    Around the corner from my house, right by a rocky beach sweet peas climb up a wall of vines all summer long. I often start my day with a walk to collect as many sweet peas as I can, enjoying the peace and sea breeze along the way.
    I’ve never grown them in my own garden but I would love to have the opportunity with such fine seeds. Thanks for this great giveaway and the wealth of information you share on floret!

    Reply
  168. Jane on

    Read your blog and growing guide and hope to succeed growing these for the first time this year in New Jersey.

    Reply
  169. Sharika on

    Sixteen years ago this thanksgiving, my older sister unexpectedly died. Growing up, she and I shared a mutual love for garden fresh flowers. I remember visiting her apartment and every summer her back porch would be covered with delicate, intoxicating sweetpea vines. I fell in love with those flowers and knew someday my sister would help me plant a garden full of them.

    Last summer I decided to jump head first into starting a flower business. I rented a tiller, borrowed a friends truck, filled it with compost and tore up my yard. I planted 100 dahlia tubers, over 100 sunflowers and zinnias and heaps of wildflowers. I had no clue if they’d grow or even how or where I’d sell them. I figured, worst case scenario.. I’ll have beautiful flowers in my home and to give away to people. Who doesn’t love fresh flowers?

    The name I chose for my (future) flower farm was Kimberly Gardens, after my sister. I know if she were here she would be right beside me.. Digging, planting, harvesting, dreaming.

    Well, my flowers grew.. And flourished!! I made weekly arrangements for a friends local dessert shop and ended up selling a ton of them at my kids school fair.

    I never did get the sweetpeas planted.. But I already have a spot set aside for them this year. I’m looking forward to planting the sweetpea garden my sister and I had always hoped to have.

    Reply
  170. Marla on

    Awww….. Sweet peas…..these remind me of Great Grandma’s house. We would mow her yard for her. It made that task an “I want to do that” instead of an “I have to do that” job. Everytime I would rumble by them on the mower the smell followed me until the next pass by them! That old-fashioned variety is still growing in her yard and I plan to dig a good start of them up and transplant them in my own garden this year. They keep coming back each Spring! Will always be a reminder of her to me and future family generations.

    Reply
  171. Vera on

    Last year I grew a 3 m2 bed of mixed cutflowers because I want to write an article on growing your own organic cut flowers in a limited space. In the middle of the bed was a bamboo cane wigwam with sweet peas. They produced the longest of all the flowers – bunches of deliciously scented, beautifully colored flowers. My favorites for scent are “Matucana” and “Ling’s High Scent” but I would love to try any that you recommend!

    Reply
  172. Emma on

    I have grown sweet peas since a little girl with my Daddy, now in my thirties we still have healthy friendly competition to see who has better success with one flower type, one veg type each year! Last year it was sweet peas, mine were a roaring success, used them in my own floristry and had them on the doorstep of the cottage every day for people to take home. Daddy though had his canes in ready and planted on his plugs. But by July they were hardly two feet tall. He said I had been underhand! Until weeks later he admires he had not had his glasses on the day he sowed his seeds and they they were a minarure variety! We laughed! You get older and gardening is still fun despite successes and sometimes the failures too!

    Reply
  173. Avery on

    SWEETPEAS are my moms favorite. Well peonies and SWEETPEAS. Each year I help her cut the SWEETPEAS and wrap bouquets for the market. Someday we will have our own farm full of flowers and puppies.

    Reply
  174. Marianne on

    I live in Sweden just outside Stockholm and follow you on Instagram (if you want too look at my pics you search for Mifsan). I have Sweet Peas just outside our bedriom and my balcony door, so that I can wake to the lovely summer smell! It would be soo fantastic to have some of yours!!! I can send you some of my swedish sweet pee seed in return if you want? /Marianne “Mifsan” at Ekerö.

    Reply
  175. Sandra Eliasson on

    My love for sweet peas hit me last year, why haven’t I had them all the time? Too late to think about that now, and just use the time I have to grow lots and lots of sweet peas. This will be my first year growing them and I’m really exited. There is so many different colors, I don’t think I ever will be able to pick some to grow. Can you make your whole garden in to a sweet pea plantation? Oh… that’s a thought! Xx

    Reply
  176. Jackson M on

    all i can say is my husband is obsessed with sweet peas. he’s told me a thousand times how sweet their fragrance is – but i’ve yet to take in their scent. this year, hopefully, is the year he gets them started. i can’t wait – i really want to know what this obsession is about…

    Reply
  177. Dana O'Sullivan on

    I still vividly remember the first time I smelled the heady yet delicate fragrance of a sweet pea. I would absolutely love the opportunity to try my hand at growing them in the garden this year. Offering home-grown sweet peas to my brides would put me over the top.

    Reply
  178. Diane on

    So lovely! I finally feel that I am in a position to try sweet peas! My children are now adults and I know carry memories of my dooryard garden. I know there is time to add still more!

    Reply
  179. Jane Pauley on

    WOW- these images are so beautiful I am simultaneously squealing and salivating as I scroll through them… My favorite memory of sweet peas is when my boyfriend told me he loved me for the first time in 2012… He surprised me with a road trip from LA to Carlsbad to visit the flower fields. We were going through a sweet pea maze (like a corn maze, but way better) when he stopped me, hugged and kissed me and told me in a shaky voice that he loved me… He is now my husband! We got married this past October and I paid an arm and a leg for out-of-season sweet peas to put in my bouquet. I would LOVE to plant these in my garden and maybe create my very own sweet pea maze. :D

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  180. Tonya on

    A big bunch of sweet peas were one of the first flowers that i ever gave away, from then i was hooked.

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  181. Kayla G on

    My mother has an amazing raised garden in her backyard filled with a wide variety of flowers and these would make an excellent addition! She also has window boxes and a memorial garden for my Oma which would make a great home for some sweat peas. We’ve never tried them
    before but would love to!

    Reply
  182. Jen on

    Sweet peas were my grandmother Margene’s all time fave…when I was little, it was my job to walk the fence and cut the blooms. I would arrange them in extra jelly jars while she was canning. The smell of sweet peas will forever remind me of her :)

    Reply
  183. Maria on

    My mother taught me to grow sweet peas, 45 years ago. I wrote a little essay about this, about my mother and her lessons — too long to post here. We had sweet peas as our bouquets at our garden wedding in 2012. A friend gave us two sweet pea towers to place at the arbor where we stood for the ceremony. You could say I’m addicted to sweet peas. I prefer to say they are my favorite flower.

    Reply
  184. Shari D on

    My first memory of sweet peas was at age 6, smelling them outside my friend Michelle’s playhouse. I love their fragrance.

    Reply
  185. Erica on

    First sweet pea memory: childhood photograph posed with raggedy Ann doll along long row of pea flowers in Dad’s garden.

    Current: sweet pea seed is sown continuously in experimental succession in greenhouses, farms, gardens, homes, landscapes. Seeds are saved and allowed to volunteer as able. Due to frequency and expanse of efforts special attention to variety is rare and confined to start of season. The main objective is to have sweet peas in all places at all times however possible although I favor tinies and Blues and long stems and purples and have grown for market aplenty and when doing so seeing other women glow over their availability is priceless satisfaction.

    Reply
  186. Caren on

    I love sweet peas! I grew them in my little hill farm in NH, but I’ve just moved to a city block in Pittsburgh and am a fish out of water. Sweet Peas would be a great way to start my new garden!

    Reply
  187. Shannon Brown on

    My mom loved sweet peas and taught me to appreciate them. I grow sweet peas in my yard every year in loving memory of my beautiful mom and her love of flowers, especially sweet peas.

    Reply
  188. Jodi on

    Sweet peas were one of the flowers I grew in my first home of my own. The house already had a clematis vine growing up the front porch, so I hand wove a netting trellis with bits os sea glass tied in (I live on an island) and planted sweet peas. They grew up amidst the purple clematis blossoms and were the sweetest fragrance as you walked up to the front door!

    Reply
  189. Laurie Parkison on

    The scent of sweet peas always reminds me of my Grandma. Every summer, she had a vase of beautiful blooms sitting on the crisp white table cloth covering her table. She was a gentle, quiet, tender lady. And though her name was Violet, she seemed to be more of the embodiment of a sweet pea! I miss her dearly!

    I have grown them…no real interesting varieties, but I have completely enjoyed them anyway! : )

    Reply
  190. Chelsey on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas. My sister just announced she is getting married in June and I love the idea of growing some special for her bouquet to create a special fragrant memory of her day. Thank you for the chance to win such a fun giveaway!

    Reply
  191. Courtney on

    I must admit that you’re the one who got me hooked on sweet peas! I found your blog at this time last year and your beautiful pictures helped me through the bitter chicago winter. Before this I had always thought flowers were a silly thing to grow (I know, how could i?!) but you showed me otherwise and I planted my first sweet peas this past spring and fell in love. Now hope to enjoy their beauty and fragrance every coming year. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  192. Clair Hamaker on

    A while back you did a whole blog post on sweet peas, and I became completely enamored by them. I remember driving home one day and seeing a wild plot of them growing out of a ravine by my house. I remembered how you said they smelled wonderful. So I stopped by the side of the road to grab some. They were really mild smelling, but so beautiful. Thank you for all the inspiration you give us, and for making the world a more beautiful place.:)

    Reply
  193. Susie Johnson on

    I love all the beautiful shades of color available in sweet peas. Have wanted to try growing them in my garden, but have yet to try. Would love to win this giveaway, and cross them off my garden bucket list!

    Reply
  194. Kristina on

    As a farmer/fledgling florist I’ve enjoyed growing sweet peas for a few years now, though the varieties I’ve dabbled in are far less sophisticated-looking. They’re SO beautiful! I’ve already exceeded (by a lot) my flower budget for this season but would love to plant out a little row of these!

    Reply
  195. Sharon on

    I have been obsessed with sweet peas for many years, and recently came across an old slide of me in the late 1960s as a 3 yr old, standing in front of a mass of trellised sweet peas, and holding a little bouquet of them. I guess the obsession began very young! I call their scent “the fragrance of my childhood” because nothing evokes happy memories like their scent does.

    Reply
  196. Lindsay on

    Sweet pea oh sweet pea… They are just beautiful! I have actually never grown sweet peas, but I can not wait to start this year!!! I have been growing flowers all of my life, my childhood memories are full of gardens of zinnias and dahlias! I am officially starting my Flower Farm this year and I am so excited and can’t wait to get started! My seeds are ready and waiting!!! Would love to have these beauty’s to add to the mix!

    Reply
  197. KaCee Shepherd on

    This is the first year that I will be growing sweet peas. Every morning and every evening, as I walk to and from work, I ooo and aww at all of the colorful sweet peas growing in people’s yards. I’m new to growing flowers but have always adored them! Now that I have my own space, I can grow my own! You’re such an inspiration to me!

    Reply
  198. Nadia on

    I’m a sweet pea addict too, but have never grown them myself before. Instead of snapping them up at the farmer’s market, I’d love to plant them myself! There’s something so special about sweet peas — those delicate, frilly petals, the sweet tendrils, and that gorgeous smell! They make me think of spring and my grandma, who used to grow them in her garden. This spring will be my first year growing them, and I can’t wait to try.

    Reply
  199. Corinne on

    I fell in love sweet peas when I was little. They grow wild in the field , preety pink flowers and smell beautiful.

    Reply
  200. Mindy on

    Sweet peas are my favourite – I had great success last season growing following your methods… And as a child it was always my favourite ‘chore’ to go out and snip for my mom… To keep them blooming :). Thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  201. Julie @ Garden Delights on

    Last year, I tried desperately to grow sweet peas to use at our son’s rehearsal dinner…and I was just a week too late! Thankfully, I have a wonderful flower farmer friend who found beautiful blooms for us, but the sweet peas…ohhh… Sigh. I had ordered many of the varieties you listed before in a post, and they were spectacular. I enjoyed the prettiest bouquets, and so did my neighbors. Can’t wait to grow them again! Thanks for all of the wonderful, generous information you share, Erin!

    Reply
  202. Grace | eTilth on

    I am interested in breeding sweet peas, and have a strain of the darkest purples that I’m trying to get to run true. I’ld love to win the Stained Glass Collection because Oban Bay, Erewhon and Windsor are interesting strains. I planted my second batch of sweet peas in December and just discovered fungus gnats, so I had to throw out those and am about to soak my third batch for Feb sowing

    Reply
  203. Kellie Peters on

    Flower gardening is a true love of mine. Each year I try to add something new. Last year was fun with Dahlias and this year I’d love to introduce some beautiful sweet peas!!!!

    Reply
  204. Amy on

    The scent of sweet peas takes me back to a small local market in Bolivia from when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I love them and want to try them in my garden at home and school where I teach high school Horticulture. Please consider my plea for these seeds!!

    Reply
  205. Susan K on

    Hi Erin,

    I think sweet peas are my favorite flower! My sense of smell is so important and the scent of sweet peas is heaven to me, it calms me and makes me happy. I am starting some seeds tomorrow and I’ve downloaded your growing guide. We have a chain link fence surrounding our studio that will be perfect for growing them. I have so many favorite varieties it’s hard to decide what to plant, but Nimbus is a must!

    Reply
  206. Larraine on

    It was a photo on IG with sweet peas in it that prompted me to beginning following you. I grew up in Alaska with sweet peas in our yard. We had a 75 foot wide chain link fence in our back yard that was loaded with my favorite flower. Mom would pick up packets of mixed sweet peas, soak them overnite in water and then sprout them in damp paper towels. The bed would be ready for planting on Memorial Day weekend or when the birch trees were fully leafed out, whichever came first and the threat of frost had passed. The fence was 6 feet tall and our sweet peas would surpass that height and spill over the fence to our neighbor behind us. After 14 years of living in WA and not living in an area that was not hospitable to growing sweet peas, I am back in AK and have a fence waiting to welcome my beloved sweet peas. Thank you for the memories and sharing your flowers with this giveaway.

    Reply
    • VillageKid on

      Welcome ‘home’!

  207. Kelly Jensen on

    When I was first married, a million years ago, ( haha) I had a pretty big yard and no money. I was spend my last dime on some cheap annuals…could not afford perennials! I got a few Iris, some hens and chicks, and some odds and ends including some sweet pea seeds from a few old relatives. I planted them on our pump house with a southwest exposure. They climbed up and over and were spectacular and amazingly fragrant!!! A few houses and many years later, I still grow them but have yet to duplicate that display!

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  208. Erin @ The Impatient Gardener on

    Sweet peas are one of those plants that you never forget. This will be my first year growing them but I will never forget the first time I smelled one. I think it must be the mostly heavenly scent on earth. The fact that they are utterly beautiful is just gravy.

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  209. janet on

    Sweet peas are intoxicating! I’d love to try my hand at growing them!

    Reply
  210. Madeline Frankel on

    I first year growing sweet peas was a disappointment. Last year, after following Erin’s methods, I had great success…big, beautiful, fragrant flowers to absolutely fall in love with. I took my triumphant bouquets to one of the markets where I’m the only flower vendor. No one wanted them. I couldn’t sell a single sweet pea. I filled my house with them, and then found the perfect recipient for a special sweet pea gift. I brought a big bouquet to my British yoga teacher. She absolutely loved them and told me that in England you can smell the sweet peas everywhere. She was so happy; they reminded her of home.

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  211. Sarah Ervin on

    I remember seeing a wedding with deep pink sweet peas that were just massed together and created this wonderful texture in front of the dusty muted Adobe building. It inspired the entire color palette of a shoot I styled and fueled my love of flowers.
    I now hope to grow them this year. I just can’t believe their beauty!

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  212. Becky on

    I just bought my first home and this will me my first year being able to plant flowers. I love sweet peas!

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  213. emily on

    Have you ever noticed walking into your garden (that you have loved and nurtured,) on the perfect sunny day and your flowers are smiling at you? Can’t you just picture Sweet Peas form Floret beaming up at you, bringing Floret’s energy with it? Happy Flowers! I would love that! Especially the Vintage Wedding mix.

    Reply
  214. Patty on

    How exciting! I have been following your work for quite some time and love looking at your gorgeous flower posts and helpful tips, they are helping me get through this cold winter (in Canada!). I am an urban gardener and have just recently moved to a home where I have a small yard where my garden will grow – and grow. I would absolutely love to use your seeds and blog about my progress as I go (the blog is still being created). I also sourced all my flowers last summer locally and created my own bouquets and arrangements, it was blissful. Sweet peas played a big role in those arrangements and I would love to have some in my own garden.

    Reply
  215. Nicole Carey on

    I will always have a soft spot for sweet peas. When I was 9 years old I made a mini garden, and they were the first flowers I ever grew by seed. It was a small turnout, but the few that did bloom made my heart sing. They are so mesmerizingly beautiful and fragrant, and to this day are still one of my favorite flowers. They have so much grace and cheer!

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  216. Peggy B on

    My memory of sweet peas actually was of my Grandmother’s lovely garden in Sheboygan Wi. My Grandmother was a bohemian and feminist all rolled into one ; yet she had 8 children after the age of 30 She grew beautiful sweet peas on the trellis and canned all the veggies in her garden. But mostly I remember running thru her garden playing, the smell of sweet peas in the air.

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  217. Heather O on

    I’ve never grown sweet peas before, but they were on my list of flowers to grow this year – and with such beautiful colors I can’t imagine why I don’t know this plant better.

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  218. Angela on

    I love, love, love Sweetpeas! My grandmother called me sweetpea from the time I was a baby up until she passed away 10 years ago. ( I rarely heard her call me by my actual name :) They hold a special place in my heart and I would love to add these special flowers to my garden.

    Reply
  219. Greta on

    For the past two years trying to grow sweet peas from seed, I haven’t succeeded. They will sprout and then stop growing, I think I start them too late in the season. I will try again this year and hope to have success. I absolutely love their scent and delicate blossoms!

    Reply
  220. Danni C on

    Iv never grown sweet pea but have always planned to :) I use them in fresh cut arrangements when they arrive in the market this time of year! I reminice each sweet blossom year after year :))

    Reply
  221. Jessica Gale on

    I love how at market sweet peas create the most amount of story telling. Everyone has a sweet pea story to tell.

    Reply
  222. Karate on

    This will be my first year growing, but I’ve been admiring for years (Nimbus and Mars, especially).

    I wanted to be a geneticist. I still want to be a geneticist, but that can wait ’til I’ve started my flower journey! I completed two years of coursework before my husband and I married. We had no money. At all. For real. We paid the officiant and were broke. The day before we got married, we had to scramble to find flowers – wildflowers primarily, from my aunt’s back yard and Queen Anne’s Lace from where ever because it’s everywhere. It was just for me, no wedding party or anything, and what I wanted were sweet peas! Wild sweet pea is everywhere here – I found some marled ones, white, pink, purple. Sweet peas are the first flower to calm my very-nearly-colicky son, and they’re dear to me for their role in genetics. Without Mendel and his sweet peas.. we’d know nothing. Flowers and science! My favourite!

    Reply
  223. Ellen on

    Sweet peas are my obsession! This is my second season growing them. I just planted some seedlings today. They are my favorite flower and I love tucking them in cases all over the house. Your varieties look amazing!

    Reply
  224. Kirsten Young on

    Sweet peas have always been my favourite. They are the first flower that I clearly remember, the only flower in my Grandpa’s garden, next to his raspberries, strawberries and the birdhouses he made throughout his retirement. We’d play crocket and I’d take little breaks to bury my face in the pastel coloured blooms. The sweetest, most wonderfully nostalgic smell in the world.

    He met my Nanny during WWII. She was very British and the most amazing storyteller. I grew up hearing about dances in ‘the Old Country’ where all the women drew lines up the backs of their legs with eyeliner to mimic the pantyhose that was impossible to find (or afford) during the war. She met my Grandpa at one of those dances. A tall and handsome Canadian soldier who swept her off her feet.

    When I met my husband, my Grandpa had been 2 years gone. He would have been so proud of the Canadian naval officer that I caught and I think it would have made up for all those wayward hippie years when they just didn’t get me at all.

    We got married on base, at the Commodore’s house up on a bluff overlooking the ocean. An ethnobotany major, having watched the movie ‘Amor, mujeres y flores’, I knew that I wanted all food and flowers locally grown and organic. I tried hard to force enough flowers myself but my sweet peas just didn’t take. Days before my wedding, I found a lavender farmer who just happened to have enough sweet peas to provide me, my daughter and my sister with modest bouquets of mostly white blooms.

    Neither my Grandpa nor my Nanny were able to be at my wedding but the significance of the sweet peas as I gave myself to this white clad naval officer were enough to honor both of them and their lifelong sacrifices, and I thought of that the whole time.

    Reply
    • VillageKid on

      I had forgotten about those stories of lines up the back of their legs to make it look like the ‘stockings’ they could not get or afford. My Gramma told me of the same stories too. She also did not get to my wedding two years after she had passed away, but I know she is with me as I plant my flowers each year, especially my sweet peas.
      Thanks for reminding me Kirsten!

  225. Rebecca W on

    Have been growing sweet peas for about 40 years and love them just as much every time. Reminds me of my great grandmother.

    Reply
  226. Jen Slagle on

    Sweet Peas pretty please
    I ❤️ them all the same
    Yellow, lavender, pink
    & any shade of ombré

    I would love a chance to win them
    Grow them
    Love them & share them
    Pretty please
    I ❤️ Sweet Peas!
    This surely would leave me with the fondest memories of Sweet Peas!!

    Reply
  227. Marsha on

    3rd season growing sweet peas in my tiny back yard. Following Lisa Ziegler this year. Sowed in fall under agribon looking good. The scent – just wanna swim in it.

    Reply
  228. Rochelle W. on

    My favorite sweet pea memory is a fairly new one, but is appropriately sentimentally sweet nonetheless. 7 years ago I was maid of honor for one of my dearest friends, and her wedding marked the beginning of my passion for designing wedding florals. We visited the LA Flower district while planning her blooms, and I pulled out two bunches of the fragrant sweet peas from a bucket and purchased one for each of us. We buried our noses in their intoxicating scent and enjoyed them in our homes for what seemed like weeks.

    Reply
  229. Nicole S on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas! We just moved into a new home and it would be lovely to have these beautiful flowers in our yard.

    Reply
  230. Sharon S on

    I moved to Camano Island in 1999. I knew it would be the perfect place to grow the sweet peas that I love so much. I’m always antsy to plant 2 big pots of them at the front of my house. The smell is heavenly. My neighbor says she can smell them from her yard. My secret to an early start is to plant in February. I put clear plastic over the pots to protect from the cold & to hurry them along. Thank you for this lovely giveaway & for sharing your beautiful flowers.

    Reply
  231. Kari S on

    One of my earliest memories is actually of sweet peas. They grew on the side of our house in Wyoming. My mom would spread out a blanket by the sweet peas and I would sit there and watch my older siblings play. I remember the smell and the beautiful colors. I was only 2 years old! I haven’t had much success growing them here in hot and humid Virginia, but last year I had 5 whole blooms on my plant – I was thrilled, haha!

    Reply
  232. katie on

    My first memory of sweet peas, is picking the wild variety along the road for my wild flower bouquets for a farmer’s market when I was 10 years old. I have always loved them but I never had much success growing sweet peas till last year. I enjoyed every bloom that was harvested, the beauty and the sweet aroma. Planning on trying several different varieties this season.

    Reply
  233. Amy Grafstrom on

    Erin,

    I fell in love with sweet peas after smelling them in your greenhouse while I nannied for you. It was like a magical world that I had never stepped into before, and like you – I was hooked! I don’t have much space for gardening, but last year Rylan and I turned our side yard into our first small and highly successful garden, and what did I create to enclose it all with? A sweet pea fence! It was the greatest thing I’ve ever done! The smell transported me to a magical world every time I stepped outside, and seeing that gigantic fence of seven foot tall sweet peas blowing in the breeze every afternoon made me thankful for knowing you. They really are the most amazing flower, and SMELL on earth!! I miss your farm every Summer, love seeing your incredible growth and your family blossom with your flowers every year!

    Reply
  234. Nicole Campbell on

    As a newer florist in a very rural area I don’t often get to play with delicate or pricey blooms very often. This past year for Mother’s day I invested in my first foray into these perfect little blooms. I instantly fell in love with how fantastic they were by themselves and how perfectly they finished off each arrangement that I put them in! I still get to only use these beauties once in a great while, but I would love to grow them in one of the old hoop houses we have at work that I am taking over for growing purposes. With this I could offer them in my daily work without the pricey cost of buying them from the wholesaler! What a decadent treat they would be!

    Reply
  235. Anna Stouffer on

    “Sweet pea” was my grandma’s favorite fragrance. I used to dislike the scent when I was younger but now it brings back wonderful memories of her. I planted some two years ago but they never came up. I guess it’s time to try them again!

    Reply
  236. Alison on

    Oh! The Vintage Wedding Collection makes my heart skip a beat! In the summertime, I buy sweet peas from local growers whenever I have the opportunity. I just love the way they dance in the field and how they bring the most glorious movement to my arrangements. I rely heavily on local growers for my flowers but also grow a small number of my own beautiful blooms- I would love to add sweet peas to the mix!!

    Reply
  237. Jessica on

    Hi! I’m a florist and I just bought my first home with my fiancé. This year I am so excited to begin growing some of my own flowers – I even found what looks to be a peony in my yard! I have some dinner plate dahlia bulbs, and I dearly hope for the chance to grow some sweet peas! They’re one of my favorites to use in bouquets and arrangements – they’re so romantic they almost look like little fairy wings – and I really hope to use them in my own wedding this summer.

    Thank you for your constant inspiration!

    Reply
  238. Sophia on

    Sweet peas! I’m a fellow addict. They will forever remind me of New York, where I first used them as a florist. I remember walking into the floral shop where I was working and all of the walls of the entire (300sq foot) space were covered in bail upon bail of wild sweet peas. I couldn’t get over the tye dye colors (blueish, purplish and white), the long stems- draping out of buckets and onto the floor. And the smell. The smell!! Now I’m back in California where I have some land and I’d love to try growing them. ❤️

    Reply
  239. Paula on

    I have tried. And tried and tried to grow sweat peas. They are my mothers favorite, and she loves them because they were her mothers favorite. Her mum passes away when she was 6 and she’s also had a heck of a time growing them as well: would love to surprise her with some of hear beauties.

    Reply
  240. Margaret Thorson on

    Last year we grew sweet peas in our hoophouse. Walking in there to pick the flowers and being met by that incredible scent was wonderful.
    we have to do more of this.

    Reply
  241. Erin on

    This would be my first time growing sweet peas. Sweet peas remind me of my grandma because she taught me that the flower for my birth month, April, is the sweet pea (also daisies), and seeing then bloom would be a welcome reminder of my grandma.

    Reply
  242. Bonnie on

    I am from Australia and have just started training as a florist and absolutely fell in love with sweet peas when their season began here. I have a farm of my own and am starting my own flower section in the vegetable garden. Sweet peas are going to be in there for sure and yours and really beautiful. I am not sure if they can be shipped internationally (I hope they can!) but regardless thank you for your lovely post.

    Reply
  243. Shalome on

    Love this flower so much it has been my email address/username for pretty much everything for the past 16 years! Can’t find a more beautiful flower…anywhere. :)

    Reply
  244. Nicole on

    Sweet Pea’s are my absolute favorite of the flower world. I can still remember my very first bridal bouquet that I ever made and how it was chock full of gorgeous stark white sweet pea…it smelled heavenly! It was that bouquet that truly hooked me in the world of floral design. I would love to try my hand at growing my very own.

    Reply
  245. Lia Hayes on

    Every summer in Montana we celebrate the sweet pea festival. I have so many memories of the parade, the music, the food and the gardens full of blossoms. I especially love pink ones!

    Reply
  246. Rachel on

    My grandparents grew sweet peas, my sister and dad grew them for me as my wedding flowers and now that our farm is getting into organic flower production to go with our veggies, I’d love to get my hands on some lovely varieties for our local farmers market.

    Reply
  247. Penmerry on

    I am enchanted by their scent!!! We tried them for the first time last year in the field with a late start. Anxious to try them out earlier in our hoop house this year. I am still thumbing through catalogs trying to decide on which seeds… This would help me make up my mind!

    Reply
  248. Kailla Platt on

    My heart beat a little faster just looking at these. Their smell is pure garden goodness. I always feel like in a vase by themselves is the best – they just don’t need anything else.

    Reply
  249. Heddy on

    My first year growing sweet peas was last season inspired by your blog. I wrote this poem when I got my first blooms in a big bunch after trying to grow my farm with mainly no till practices:
    I am a human tractor
    And all my parts are worn
    But then I have my sweet peas
    I’m alive, renewed, reborn.

    Reply
  250. Annette on

    I was introduced to sweet peas as a youngster. My grandmother grew them on a trellis at the end of her clothes line. At first, before the blooms appeared, grandma told me to be careful not to harm the sweet peas while playing. I remember wondering why would she plant vegetables on the clothes line and not in the garden and why were these peas sweeter than the regular ones… she is gone now but the fragrance of time spent with her hanging laundry by those sweet peas blossoms-unforgetable

    Reply
  251. Abby Lee on

    I grow sweet peas every year. Last year I might have jumped he gun and planted too early or maybe my chickens dug up my rows or mice ate the seeds..I don’t know…but nothing came up and the only sweet peas I had were in one big pot I planted in the greenhouse. This year is going to be different. We have a new co op store down town and I want to wow the town with my sweet peas first thing!

    Reply
  252. Nanc on

    I have an April birthday. I have grown sweet peas since I was a child. I love all of the varieties favorites are April in Paris and the dark purple ones. I would love to see all the ones you have, most I am sure I have not grown. I see some of your arrangements using sweet peas at Metropolitan Market in Kirkland znd love them.

    Reply
  253. MJ on

    I grew some last season as inspired by You! It was a moderate disaster as I planted them out in April in zone 5, then immediately froze them off at ground level. I wrote them off for good, only to have them sprout back and take off! I failed at providing support to them, so they were a tangled mess of vines, but they bloomed like mad and it smelled great walking by there. I wish I had picked more, but don’t have the market for them yet. I mixed them in with other random early flowers as part of my early season trial. My early season cuts are far from well planned out due to a variety of reasons, mostly because I focus my cut flower season from July on.. This season, I bought 5 varieties again to try from Geo, and a mouse got into the flats and ate every seed! Maddening. Just ordered more, would love to add a few interesting ones! As a side note, in my youth I got a tattoo, of, yes, a sweet pea!

    Reply
  254. Donna Fitzen on

    I love your photos and advice. I’m just starting to grow my own flowers for my brides. It will take time and trial, but is so rewarding to see something you grew bring smiles and add just the perfect touch. Last summer was my first time working with sweet peas in a bouquet and I am smitten and can’t wait to grow my own. :-)

    Reply
  255. Nanc on

    I have an April birthday. I have grown sweet peas since I was a child. I love all of the varieties favorites are April in Paris and the dark purple ones. I would love to see all the ones you have, most I am sure I have not grown. I see done of your arrangements using sweet peas at Metropolitan Market in Kirkland znd love them.

    Reply
  256. Robert Wallace on

    My grandma had a beautiful vase which was a woman’s head dressed in her Sunday’s best. She would gently put her sweet peas in the woman’s head. As a young boy I always loved to see this woman with the amazing hair that not only looked awesome in shades of pastels and jewel tones, but dainty blooms scented the room with the most heady of perfumes! Been addicted ever since.

    Reply
  257. Meg on

    For some reason I’m intimidated by the sweet peas!? Maybe it’s all the netting involved, or maybe I’m just afraid I’ll fail? I know someday I will try them, but this will only be my 2nd year as a flower farmer…..someday. :)

    Reply
  258. Kerri Boland on

    Last year was my first year as a flower farmer, and sweet peas were always a big seller. I would love to add more seeds to my collection!

    Reply
  259. Marlys on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas! I love their scent!

    Reply
  260. brooke on

    An iconic flower when you think of Spring. A garden wouldn’t be the same without them! A must have.

    Reply
  261. Nicki Farrell on

    This will be my first year growing sweet peas as a cut flower we have had requests for them at the market as well as from florists. I am excited but also wondering how hard they are to cut from the netting. Love all your info on sweet peas :)

    Reply
  262. Brekka Belisle on

    Following your photos this past year, and the incredible sweet road you grew I could envision the fragrance! Sweet peas are so simple and lovely, and I’ve enjoyed growing them for years. In fact I brought bouquets of them to a baptism, house warming and “just because” for a friend.

    Reply
  263. Alia on

    Sweet peas are so dear to me. When I was little, I used to walk the path around the lake at my Grandma’s summer cottage, and the sweet peas were always there to greet me. I would sit and admire them, always looking forward to their soft invitation to breathe and take in the peace all around me. They’re one of my favorites!

    Reply
  264. Megan on

    In the first garden my husband and I grew together, we planted sweet peas. Their scent reminds me of that summer and now, as a flower farmer, I look forward to sharing this with others.

    Reply
  265. Amanda Burnette on

    Your blogs and photos serve as constant inspiration for me. This is my first year attempting to grow, and I’m starting small, but I want to be intentional. I’m growing things that I love, but that also are going to work for my client’s weddings this year. Sweet Peas are so lovely, and I would love to try my hand at growing something to be proud of for my sweet brides and grooms!

    Reply

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