Guest Author - Hellie T.
Dwarf sweet peas
Sweet peas are a traditional favourite in an English Garden. Their beautiful colours and marvellous scent make them a must-have garden plant.
If you want to create an English Garden effect and are limited for space don’t worry.
You can get dwarf sweet peas (12 inches tall or less) or trailing sweet peas that do not climb and will create a lovely effect for you.
They are easy to grow and unlike their taller cousins do not need sticks to support them.
Look out for sweet peas that are called trailing, dwarf and dwarf bush.
All have lovely scented flowers and can be used in bedding, containers and baskets, window boxes, patio pots and hanging baskets.
So if you only have a small space you still can have room for some sweet peas.
A hanging basket placed by your front door will give you some delicious scent every time you open your door!
They are many varieties to be had – take a look through a seed catalogue or visit a garden centre/store.
Here are some of my favourites.
'Bijou - grows to about 45cm (18in) high and can be used in beds, borders, containers and also good as a cut flower.
Cupid or Cupid Pink - is a dwarf variety that is really good for containers and hanging baskets. It has a good scent.
'Snoopea or Supersnoop - grows to 30 inches – good for beds and containers.
Sugar and Spice – another one that is excellent for a hanging basket or window box with a lovely scent.
Little Sweetheart – grows to 18cm (7in) and is a lovely little sweet pea and comes in a range of colours from purple to red, and including rose, pinks, blue, lilac and white. It is excellent for pots.
Try planting 3 or 4 plants in a tub 40cm square this will give you a marvellous show of flowers.
How to grow
Dwarf and bush sweet peas are hardy annuals.
They are best sown in the spring – plant them in pots in a cool green house or cold frame and plant out in their containers when they have several leaves.
Or you can buy them in plugs or pots from your local garden store.
Sweet peas need a sunny spot.
They need good drainage but fertile moist soil.
Do not allow to dry out and if you have very hot summers then keep an eye on your pots watering twice a day and popping mulch around the plants to conserve moisture.
Remember to dead head them regularly.
Sweet peas mean lasting or delicate pleasures and if you give someone a bunch of sweet peas on leaving it means these flowers are saying - you have made my stay very enjoyable –thank-you, I will be thinking of you!
Enjoy your English Garden!