Plant Now: Sweet peas

Purple sweetpeas
Bouquet of sweet peassweet peas in vase

If you haven’t already, you should get your sweet peas in now. You don’t have to mollycoddle them – you can sow the seeds directly in the ground. Or sow them in peat pots and plant the whole pot in the soil when the seedlings are 5-8cm (2-3 inches) tall. They are hardy annuals and tolerant of low temperatures. In fact, high light levels in winter combined with cool temperatures are perfect for sweet pea growing. Plant in a spot that gets good sun; low light levels will result in smaller and fewer flowers.

The plants are vines, so they will climb trellises, fences, or even string, and produce more shoots with flowers as they do. When the plants get around 15cm (6 inches) high, tie the shoots to their growing frame.

Watch out for snails and slugs – you may need to use a bait.

When it comes to harvesting, pick your sweat peas when 2-3 flowers start to show some colour.

Image credits: Top photo (which includes sweet peas and stock) via Mod Wedding; middle photo via Love ‘n Fresh Flowers; bottom photo via Sussi’s Sussinghurst.

Spring gorgeousness


I’m absolutely loving this bouquet by Cathy Martin Flowers. It’s topped with hellebores, jasmine, sweet peas and tuberose. Divine.

Image via The Swish List.

Plant Now: Sweet peas


Have you planted your sweet peas yet? You still can. Even though they are typically sown in autumn, here in NZ we can plant them throughout winter and even early spring (best in cooler areas).

We’re spoilt for choice with the colours available, but I’m loving the pinks and purples. I especially love the picotee varieties – those flowers whose edges are a different colour than the flower’s base colour, like the purple sweet peas in the top image.

Find a sunny spot in your garden that has humus-rich, well-drained soil, and sow seeds directly, or plant seedlings from the garden centre.

You can sow your seeds in small pots to transplant later if you prefer, but leave the containers outdoors, not in a greenhouse. Sweet peas germinate at low temperatures; strong plants result if grown in high light and cool conditions. Spindly, sprawling ones often result if grown in a greenhouse.

Photo credits: Top image is from WedLuxe; Middle image is from All Things Girly & Beautiful; Bottom image is from Love My Dress.

Sweet bouquet of sweet peas

Sweet peas

Have you planted your sweet peas yet? No problem. You’ve got plenty of time yet (click here to get the low-down on sweet pea planting). But if you needed a reason why to plant them, just check out this gorgeous bouquet that features over at Brabourne Farm. It’s simply divine. Very simple. But very very pretty. Wouldn’t you agree?

Plant Now: Sweet Peas

Sweet Pea Patricia Ann

Now’s the perfect time to sow sweet peas, but bear in mind what type you’re planting. There are three types of sweet peas: winter-flowering, spring-flowering and summer-flowering, with the majority of varieties available in New Zealand being summer-flowering. Autumn is the best time to sow seeds of winter and spring blooming sweet peas, but summer-flowering types grow better if sown in short days (winter) and grown on into lengthening days. That means June to August is the best time to plant summer-flowering sweet peas, but sowings can, in fact, be made up until mid-October. In very cold areas it might be best to leave sowing until spring.

Sweet peas like a sunny spot in well-drained, humus-rich soil. You can sow them in pots to transplant later or sow them directly in the ground. [Read more…]

Best blooms – roses and sweet peas

Roses and sweet peas

Two of my favourite flowers are in full bloom right now – scented roses and picotee sweet peas. Rosa ‘St Paul’s Cathedral’ is SO gorgeous, I just might die. Each head is so perfectly formed and so deliciously fragrant that it constantly stops people dead in their tracks. Same goes for the sweet peas. Bring a bunch indoors and their exquisite perfume hits you right between the eyes as soon as you walk in the door. [Read more…]