Sweet peas

A talk all about sweet peas by Jill Hazell

The Society welcomed the return of Jill Hazell, who previously spoke about Gladiolus. Tonight it was the turn of sweet peas. Jill started her talk telling us how she came to grow sweet peas by taking over from someone else and then becoming hooked. There are many grown just for ornamental purposes and their scent. Some of these are perennial and can take over your garden, sweet pea Belinensis also comes in yellow and orange. Jill then went on to talk about growing for showing. She recommended digging a trench and putting in well rotted manure, add some fertilizer, Vitax Q4 is long acting, and then rake soil over the trench. Plant canes 9” apart with 18” between the rows, as they are liable to wind damage a stake at each end is needed to support them. For showing in June/ July sow in the Autumn, Jill germinates her seeds on damp kitchen towel and then transfers them to pots. They need to be protected from mice, and labelled. Grow the plants on hard and mix compost with perlite for good drainage, they are frost hardy.

When planting out keep the side shoots then find the strongest stem, removing the others. Grow up straight on a single stem removing all side shoots and tendrils, tying in with soft string or tape (max tapener, from Labels & Things etc) and keep cutting the flowers and do not allow to set seed. Sweet peas are self pollinating so come true to the mother plant but best seeds are the early flowers. Jill gets her seed from Roger Parsons who hold the national collection, or Phil Kerton, these are British growers, many of the other seed suppliers obtain their seed from New Zealand.

Sweet peas can be beset with aphids which will distort the growing tip and spread virus’ so these need to be dealt with at first sight. The other problem although not serious is the pollen beetle. Difficult to remove from the plants without damaging the blooms. Cutting the night before and putting in a dark place with an open window does help. For showing, the flowers need to have 4 florets, compact flowers with long stems and shown according to their alignment (left or Right). Transportation can be a problem, use buckets or chicken wire. If layering when the plants get to the top of the sticks do it at least 2 weeks before the show. Scent is graded by numbers 1-5, 5 being the strongest.

Jill finished her talk by showing us different arrangements , Basket, table and a Candlestick. A very enjoyable and informative talk.

PHOTO BY: Sheila Pettett
Gardening Club in Lowestoft

News & Updates

Please check here regularly for any important club news and special updates.

more information re coach trip.

The first pick up point will now be the bus stop opposite St Benedicts Church on the corner of Hollingsworth Road. Parking permitted at the church.

Just to be clear and to avoid any confusion, Apart from tea and cake at Rosemary, we pay for all other refreshments (coffee at Place for Plants and lunch at Flatford). Outstanding coach costs and parking will be subsidised by the club. All friends have a seat on the coach.

Coach trip to East Bergholt.

Can all monies for the coach trip pleased be paid either at the March meeting or Wednesday 20th of April meeting. Just a reminder , all cheques to be made payable to Oulton Broad & Lowestoft Horticultural Society. Following payment your name will marked as paid.

Payment for garden trip on Saturday June 11th.

Please make all cheques, £25, for the trip payable to Oulton Broad & Lowestoft Horticultural Society. Changing details such as the name of the club with the bank is somewhat problematical.

Garden Trip

We are planning a trip by coach to East Bergholt for club members although non members may come if there is spare room on the coach. The trip will take place on Saturday 11th of June 2022 and we plan to go to Place for Plants for a visit to their garden along with coffee and a chance to buy some plants. This will be followed by a visit to Flatford for lunch and a stroll or just chilling out. At 2pm we will be visiting the Garden of Mrs Natalie Finch, called Rosemary, the garden appeared on Gardeners World back in 1997. Here we will have tea, and a tour of the garden and all the wonderful roses leaving for home at 4pm.

The cost of the trip is £25 which includes cost of the gardens and tea at Rosemary, all other costs will be subsidised by the club. Contact me using the form provided in ‘get in touch’. The deadline for replies is the 7th March. Pick up’s will be Yarmouth Rd, opposite Gunton St Peter’s Ave, 8.45am and the Co-op at Ashburnham rd, 9am arriving about 10.30am.

Book Table

We have had a large donation of Gardening books, so we have decided to have a book table at our meetings where members can purchase  a book for a donation to the club.

Changes to membership fees

It has been agreed by both the members and the committee that the membership fee will increase to £10 per annum, In order to get good speakers we need to increase our income, speakers costs have also increased as have their travelling costs. The entrance fee will remain at £1.00 with first time guest free of charge.