Posts tagged Lathyrus latifolus
Simple Country Bouquet from the Garden

Besides growing your own edibles, it is a great idea to grow your own flowers for bouquets. Here is a simple country bouquet idea for an event I had this spring.

Flowers. My perennial sweet peas were abundant and in bloom. I have written about my lovely perennial sweet peas in more detail, Perennial Sweet Peas. Perennial sweet peas are easy to grow, bloom spring to summer, and return year and year. Perennial sweet peas are one suggestion. Let your garden dictate your bouquet.

Vessel. I collected Bulgarian yogurt jars back in the seventies. When traveling through Bulgaria, yogurt was sold in these simple-shaped wide mouth jars. Such a nice size, and an appealing shape. You can use any vessel you have on hand. Try using vessels which appeal to you and are a little out of the ordinary.

Embellishment. These Bulgarian jars are clear. For fun, and a little color, I lined the jars with peppermint geranium leaves. These leaves are very soft and fuzzy. They hold up well in water for several days. The leaves are the prettiest "Ireland" green which is fabulous with the various pinks of the perennial sweet peas. I could have added a pretty ribbon, or glass balls at the bottom of the jars.

In a way, this simple country bouquet from my garden is exactly what my dear friend, Debra Prinzing, and her photographer, David E. Perry, are trying to convey in their new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers. Following after the "Slow Food" movement, Prinzing and Perry introduce us to the "Slow Flower" movement. Do you know where your flowers are grown? When they were harvested? If chemicals were used to grow them? Prinzing and Perry introduce us to local organic flower growers, gathering, and ultimate "Slow Flower" design. Using fresh flowers out of our own gardens is one easy step in this direction.

Please share if you are aware of local organic flower growers in your area? Please share if you create your own organic flower bouquets out of your own garden.

Perennial Sweet Pea

Just when the heat of late spring is too much for my annual sweet peas and they start to fade, my perennial sweet pea, Lathyrus latifolus, seems to kick in and surprise me with it's "oh so delicate" orchid-shaped blooms. Looks are deceiving, however, there is nothing delicate about this sweet pea perennial plant. It is a workhorse as beautiful screen for you in your garden, natural banks, roadside fences, and hard to plant areas.

Hardy to Zone 3, it is more drought tolerant than annual sweet peas. It likes sun, and will bloom more profusely with plenty of sun. Perennial Sweet Pea comes back year after year, easily self-sowing and can reach 9 to 12 feet high. It blooms late spring to summer.

Perennial sweet pea flowers are quite different from it's annual sweet pea cousins, too. They have no fragrance. Their flower palette is very feminine, blooming in shell pink, white, and mauve colors only. The perennial sweet pea flower is a diminutive 1" size, smaller and less wavy ruffle, from the sweet pea flowers you are most likely familiar with.

Each flower is a perfect tiny orchid shape, aligned in a straight row of spray on its vine. Perennial sweet peas are great as cut flowers in arrangements as a small bouquet, or using the entire dramatic vine with its spray of  sweet pea blooms.

It has history, too. It is an heirloom vine, which Thomas Jefferson grew, enjoyed, and called "everlasting pea"  in his day. Modern day, Sweet Pea Queen, Renee Shepard, of Renee's Garden has the Perennial Sweet Pea seeds available to purchase on her website.

In celebration of  all moms on their special day,  Happy Mother's Day!