As the sweet peas are mostly hardened off and ready to go out, some decisions need to be made about how they should be supported. My developing plot is a piece of land in my friends’ beautiful space and within view of their house. Have felt anxious about the chicken wire fence since it went up – it is not the most lovely of barriers. My hope is that it won’t be particularly noticeable when there are bright flowers catching the eye through it.
Now comes the decision about what the sweet peas should climb up. At the allotment, a few years ago, I borrowed an idea from the local and wonderful Worton Organic Garden which is to use tall panels of metal grid (normally used for reinforcing concrete). Upright, fastened to high wooden posts, it looks surprisingly attractive as it rusts; it is also very sturdy – perfect for sweet peas.
But at the developing plot I might not want such a semi-permanent structure as the sweet peas won’t want to be planted in the same spot every time. Another option is pea and bean plastic mesh, but this always gets into a tangle (and me into a bad temper) and I can never seem to save it to be used a second time. There is also the left over chicken wire which I hugely over-ordered, but there’s a lot of chicken wire already…
The prettiest option would be pea sticks. We went to see what we could forage from kind friends’ woods, but the bed is long and too many hazel sticks would be needed to be realistic. Need to decide soon as the sweet peas are ready to be planted on the plot.
Some are loved and familiar like Matacuna while others are new to me including Mollie Rilestone, Barry Dare and Royal Wedding which were recommended in Georgie Newbery’s ‘TheFlower Farmer’s Year’. Am hoping there will be a wall of colour and scent in the summer and that the stems will be long and strong.