Posts tagged Renee's 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!

First Bouquet of Sweet Peas

Sweet Pea Bouquet Glowing in Morning Sun Yesterday, I cut and gathered this wonderful bouquet of sweet peas out of my garden. The first beautiful bouquet of sweet peas for this year. If you plant sweet peas each year, chances are you are going to have early sweet peas, even in February. It has been a few years since I had my hands on the original seed packet, but I think these are the Heirloom Sweet Pea, Painted Lady, from Renee's Garden. Renee loves sweet peas, and has researched and compiled quite an assortment of sweet peas to indulge in.

Painted Lady sweet peas dates back to 1737. Wow! It is an early bloomer, and tolerates heat well. I love the pink and cream bi-color, and its scent is mesmerizing. I had to bring them in to enjoy. Cutting sweet peas for bouquets encourages more blooms. The more the merrier!

Please share if you grow sweet peas each year. Please share some of your favorite varieties.

VintageGardenGal Tidbit Thyme.... Special Garden Speakers Coming to San Diego soon!

The Village Garden Club of La Jolla is pleased to present Paula Pryke, world renown floral designer from London, will speak and share her fabulous floral creations and latest books. Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 1:30pm. For reservations and more information visit Meet the Masters 2011, Paula Pryke.

Jeffrey Bale, Portland-based world renown landscape architect, speaking on "The Pleasure Garden" on Monday, April 11, 2011, 7pm. For tickets and more information visit, Special Speaker Event, Jeffrey Bale hosted by the San Diego Horticultural Society.

Garden Circle of Sweet Peas

Garden Circle of Sweet Peas Nothing says "spring" like a dainty bouquet of fragrant ruffled sweet peas. There are so many colors to choose from like elegant whites, soft pastels, and even vibrant reds to purples. You might just have to grow several varieties.

Many types of sweet peas are the old-fashion kind, which need a fence or some type of support to encourage them upward. There are some new types of "bush" sweet peas which don't require any support and are equally attractive planted as a border in your garden, or in a circle around the base of a birdbath. There are also new "container" sweet pea varieties available for another very different effect. Place them on an outdoor table or on your patio for a splash of color.

If you are planting sweet peas which need a support to climb, why not get a little creative with your support fencing. Try a "garden circle of sweet peas" in your garden. Plant your sweet peas in some form like a circle, maze, square, or in parallel rows before an arbor. In other words, try some non-traditional form plantings. In the above photo, I used a perfect circle of wire reinforced with chicken wire and open at the bottom, from a load of river rock I bought last summer.

Renee Shepard of, Renee's Garden seeds, has a true love for sweet peas, and might just be responsible for a "modern day one-woman renaissance of sweet peas." She offers over 20 different delightful sweet pea seed varieties, and several articles on ensuring "sweet peas success" in your garden, Renee's Garden Sweet Pea Seeds and information.

If you love sweet peas, and can't get enough of them in your own garden, it is worth a visit to Summers Past Farms Sweet Pea Day, east of San Diego, for a life-size sweet pea maze at their annual "Sweet Pea Day" each April. Proprietors Marshall and Sheryl Lozier, encourage you to pack a picnic and bring the kids, or make it a special "garden gal" day with friends. Mark your calendar.

Welcome "spring into your garden" with romantic sweet peas, in your favorite colors, and grown in your favorite way. Please share if you grow sweet peas every year. Please comment on how you grow, and like to use your sweet peas.