Monday, June 08, 2009

Sweet Peas

For several years I have wanted to visit the Enchanting Sweet Peas Open House. I have grown sweet peas off and on for twenty years and my love affair with their fragrance hasn't abated.

This event is a one day affair in Sebastopol, CA and in my imagination I would wander endlessly, intoxicated by both the scent and the sights. In fact, the garden is a small lot where Glenys Johnson shows plants grown from her seed. If you get there early you can buy seed only available there. You can see varieties that she is trialing, for which she might offer seed in the future. You might win a bouquet of freshly picked stems. You can also order seed to be shipped to you in the fall, but you can always do that on her website.

This year I went, I saw, I smelled, I ordered, and I took some pictures. I have no IDs for these pictures (although it looks like this one is Jayne Amanda) but I probably bought seed for some of them so my fantasies persist. Who knows, I might have some flowers of my own this time next year.

Here is what I bought:
Anniversary - rose-edged on pale pink
April in Paris - cream-edged with lilac
Blue Ripple - white with blue flecks
Oban Bay - silvery blue
Charlie's Angel - periwinkle blue
Percy Thrower - lilac flush on white
Sylvia Mary - sunset pink

My plan for the 2010 growing season: Soak overnight when seed arrives in October. Seeds should swell. Those that don't swell should be chipped. Plant in individual cells. Grow outdoors in flats, in a protected area that gets good light. Transplant about 5 weeks later. I have had wonderful results in the past growing the Knee-Hi's, sowing them directly. These Spencer hybrids grow tall and want something sturdy to grow on. I have a year to figure that out!

Here are my notes of what I liked on my walk-through: Albutt Blue, Blue Danube, Jayne Amanda, Anniversary, Blue Ripple, Oban Bay, Comet, Noel Sutton, Percy Thrower, Lilac Ripple, Gwendolyn, Southbourne, and April in Paris.


Diane Perin said...

I've never heard of this place, and I'm sorry I missed the one-day open house! (I, too, pictured fields of sweet-peas, like those big fields of tulips one sees from Holland) I'll have to check out the catalog. Sweet peas bring back such memories of my grandmother!

jpsam said...

I learned from Glenys on Sunday that Rohnert Park was planted in 6 acres of sweet peas where the "city" is now. Those "sweet pea" street signs commemorate that--it's the city flower. Glenys has been growing sweet peas all her life.

If you have any questions, send her an email. She is very helpful.