Sweet peas are one of those flowers that don’t grow well in Maryland. But after seeing them growing and blooming on a pre-COVID trip to England, I decided they are worth the effort. I try each year in the hopes of getting a summer that won’t be horribly hot, especially the first half of the season. They prefer rich soil and cool weather. Maryland weather is the opposite but there’s always a chance we’ll have a cool summer start. I intend to challenge myself.
Sweet peas emit the most delightful intoxicating scent that makes you want to smell more. The color combinations are the most delicate shades of lavender, pinks, peaches, carmine and reds. Their vase life is about four to five days.
There are three groups of sweet peas. The winter flowering group, which needs around 10 hours of daylight to flower; the spring flowering type that needs 11 hours of daylight; and the summer flowering group, which includes the Spencer varieties and need 12 hours of daylight. The Spencers are the most heat tolerant.