Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweet Peas..Wem...Eckford

Wow..they really made it to the top of the wall!!!....I love Sweet Peas...the strong fragrant smell of them, at the back of the garden, is fantastic. When picking the blooms, bees are buzzing near my face, hummingbirds are giving the zoom is blue, sun is shining...true bliss.

Four short years ago we were in Wem, Shropshire, England, with our good friends R and D, eating cream cakes and searching for Sweet Pea seeds. Wem (don't you know)))) the "Sweet Pea Capitol of the World", because Henry Eckford hybridized the first of our modern sweet peas there.

Instead of "Got The T-SHIRT!"...I got the tea towel.. and the booklets ...and the seeds and I have grown the early sweet pea variety of flowers from Wem ever since.

Memories of thoughts were, at the time...the town didn't promote Eckford enough but that has likely changed. It was a lovely and beautiful town, vibrant and smart looking with great pastry shops! Visit if you ever get the chance.

Ahem..okay ...from the literature (meaning my booklets)))...Henry Eckford was born in Midlothian and employed in horticulture all his life, and at age SIXTY-Five years he began his Sweet Pea Business in Noble Street, Wem, Shropshire, England. (See what us gardeners can still achieve in our senior years))). Here we are today, growing the most wonderful sweet peas because of this man's work! According to the Studio Card..his pioneering work in color, fragrance and form made Wem the "Sweet Pea Capital of the World" and no less than that, he was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour.

So, in case you missed it..I love sweet peas and always will. If you have never grown them, do give them a try as you will be hugely rewarded.


  1. Your sweet peas and sweet memories are wonderful. I'm thinking some cream cake sounds pretty good right now!

  2. I've never grown sweet peas, other that the perennial ones. I think they are marvelous but they don't seem suited to this climate... perhaps it suggests another experiment?! Larry

  3. Happy memories of taking you both to Wem to search for the sweet pea seeds but R thinks you were more interested in the cake shops (BIG SMILE) When can we take you again ? R & D x x

  4. Beautiful sweet peas! The red ones are so great!!! xo d

  5. Beautiful sweet peas, They are one of my favorites too. Mine did not come up this year. I'll try again.

  6. Thanks for all the lovely comments; I hope LC you try growing them and Sue, hope you try again next year. They like lime, and a soak overnight in water and inoculant before planting out as early as the soil can be worked. At least, that works for me.

    As for R and his remark about the cream cakes...)))) BIG SMILE is right. They were delicious and Michele you would love them...

    For D and Beth..the red ones were a Sutton Seeds variety, AIR WARDEN.