I’ve read about Enchanting Sweet Peas in Sebastopol, Calif. and I’ve even enjoyed the blooms from their wonderful fragrant varieties purchased and grown by my best friend….but, I’ve never actually gone by the once-a-year sale until now. Wow!
Glenys Johnson, the owner of Enchanting Sweet Peas, began growing her favorite English Spencer Sweet peas in a vacant lot next to a veterinary hospital 25 years ago. She opens her sweet pea garden only once a year but her seed can be ordered anytime online. People flock to the one day sale. I arrived exactly at 10:30 when they opened and it was packed already!
The English Spencer sweet peas are known for long stems on 6-9 foot plants with very fragrant ruffled blooms. Glenys hands out a great instruction sheet and gives growing advice throughout the day.
Here are a few sweet pea pointers:
The seeds should be planted six weeks before the last frost date in your area. For us in Sonoma county, that’s six weeks before April 15. They need a long growing time in cooler weather (at least 60 days at temps less than 60 degrees).
Glenys uses a drip system turned on every few days for at least 2 hours.
For more bloom plant seeds on both sides of a 6 foot trellis running north/south.
Keep flowers picked to prolong bloom and remove seed pods.
Walking through the garden was a great way to pick favorites…here are a few examples:
They also sell fresh flowers, a great book on growing sweet peas, vases, cards and other sweet peas gifts.
So, if you love sweet peas start thinking now about what varieties you’d like to try next year, prepare your beds, purchase your seed and get ready for a burst of color and fragrance in your garden! You can find Enchanting Sweet Peas here: http://www.enchantingsweetpeas.com/