Organic Sweet Pea “Tamar Mix” For the Win!

Sweet pea just planted June 11

Sweet pea planted in early June in the Garlic bed.

Hi there! I had to write this post for one main reason: To note which Sweet Pea to buy for next year. 🙂 I’ve grown sweet pea before, and I know that some years are good for certain plants and some aren’t, but these ladies were spectacular!

Sweet pea hand bouquet Aug 9

A hand held bouquet of Sweet pea (beginning of August)

Sweet pea just planted full view June 6

The garden in early June.

I try to buy organic when I can, and The Organic Centre in County Leitrim supplied me with these organic Sweet Pea “Tamar Mix” seeds. I started them in pots in the house (we have a very sunny hallway which I use for starting plants). We planted them out in the garden in early June, on either side of a chicken-wire fence. Chicken-wire fencing is perfect for the plants to ‘grab’ onto – and truth be told, it was what we had in the shed. Sometimes that’s just how it works. 🙂 The fence is 9 feet long (3 meters) and about mid-season we added on to the fence to increase the height to 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Sweet pea half way up fence July 18

The height of the fence is higher here, with the first flowers blooming mid July.

We planted the sweet pea in our ‘winter garlic’ bed about a month before we harvested the garlic. I wasn’t sure how the plants would do together, but I needn’t have worried because the garlic did great and the sweet pea did great!

Sweet pea close up July 22

Some of the first blooms (July 22nd)

I staggered 12 plants on either side of the fence, and over the course of the summer it completely covered the fence and filled with heavily scented flowers.

Sweet pea half way up fence July 26

Sweet pea growing up the fence with flowers in bloom (end of July)

I cut several bouquets during the summer, which helped to keep the plants flowering. The scent in the garden was amazing, too! I also liked how it was a wall of flowers for most of the summer.

Sweet pea side view Aug 8

The sweet pea and sunflowers were ‘my favorites’ this summer!

Sweet pea are easy to grow, with very little maintenance, other than cutting yourself bouquets of flowers! Once you have something for them to grow up, the rest is ‘cake’ (I had a swim coach in college who loved to use that expression!).

Sweet pea + sunflowers + full garden view Aug 31

A full view of the garden at the end of August

Sweet pea up close skyline Aug 23

The Sweet pea climbed up the fence and kept on going…

Sweet pea in a vase

Another bouquet of sweet pea

There are different colors of sweet pea, too, but I am happy with the combination in this mix.

Sweet pea hand bouquet Aug 26

Sweet pea hand held bouquet (end of August)

Sweet pea Aug 7

Sweet pea in evening sunlight (early August)

See what I mean? The blooms were amazing all summer long!

Sweet pea in vase Aug 26

Sweet pea (end of August)

Sweet pea + clear vase Aug 19

A different look in every vase

Did you grow sweet pea this year? Any plans to grow it next year? 🙂

In peace,
Dana

Sweet pea + full garden view from above Aug 29

A view from above!

In a Vase on Monday: Sweet Pea, Hosta & Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Without any sun it is quite drab

Without any sun it is somewhat drab

Today is Monday. It is a wet, cold, and miserable day!  What a yucky end to the summer.  The bright aspect of today, though, is the start of my joining in on “In a Vase on Monday”.  Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden, hosts this lovely blogging theme.  Here is my first “go” at joining in.  To see some other lovely vases of flowers, please do visit Cathy’s blog: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/in-a-vase-on-monday-reddy-or-not/

Add a touch of sun and Voila! magic.

Add a touch of sun and Voila! magic. The vase is from our Irish pottery collection from when we married 18 years ago (Suzanne May).

I know my crazy schedule, so I cut these flowers on Saturday evening.  My sweet pea are white and different shades of pink and purple. They smell amazing in the wide open garden.  The fragrance in the house when I have a vase of sweet pea inside is heavenly!

Perovskia 'Atriplicifolia' (Russian Sage)

Perovskia ‘Atriplicifolia’ (Russian Sage)

I planted Perovskia ‘Atriplicifolia’ (Russian Sage) last year.  I missed it from my previous garden.  I’m so glad to have it again.  It is such a delicate plant.  I’ve added just a few strands to the arrangement to give it a bit of extended form.

The Russian Sage gives it some reach.

The Russian Sage gives it some reach.

I also used some hosta at the base to kind of keep some form to the arrangement. I tried to not have it look like a collar, but I did like the contrast of the sweet pea on the green at the base.

Up close

Up close

The vase of flowers is sitting in front of me this morning as I am writing this post. It is still smelling fragrant and looking well.  I’m glad I took those pictures on Saturday, though, as the weather is horrendous today! Even on Saturday the weather was changeable.  You can see how it was cloudy and sunny while I was taking photos!  The difference in photos is like night and day.

In a Vase: Sweet Pea, Hosta & Perovskia (Russian Sage)

In a Vase: Sweet Pea, Hosta & Perovskia (Russian Sage)

I love flower arranging, so this was pure pleasure in putting together.  The hardest part for me is cutting the flowers in the garden!  I love seeing them in the yard.  Incentive for me to plant enough to have in the yard, and in a  vase!

I hope your Monday is lovely and bright.

Dana

Organic Garlic sitting pretty in a hand carved wooden bowl

Harvest of Winter Planted Garlic

Harvest of Winter Planted Garlic

Growing garlic is easy.  Most things are easy to grow, actually.  It might be a bit harder if you have a cat that likes to dig up the beds, but if you can keep that under control you’ll be laughin’!   I won’t mention any kitty names…

So sweet ...

So sweet …

I posted loads of garlic pictures and a “how to” list in a previous post.  You can see that here: https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/growing-garlic-is-easy-peasy/

Waiting...

Waiting…

Still waiting... (beets/beet root are in front bed)

Still waiting… (beets/beet root are in front bed)

After waiting and watching all winter, spring and part of the summer, last week it was finally time to harvest the garlic.  It is now drying out.  I am absolutely delighted with the size of them!

Vallelado garlic

Organic Vallelado garlic up close.  Look at the size of those individual cloves!

We planted a lot of garlic, which is good.  We use a lot, and now I have spare to share.  And share I did, with my friend Catherine.  Look what she did with my garlic!

Chicken pasta salad with roasted peppers served with garlic bread

Chicken pasta salad with garlic, roasted peppers and rocket (arugula) and served with garlic bread

Talk about being spoiled!  She and her ten year old daughter made this for my daughter and I.  What a lovely afternoon we had together.

Lunch is served

Lunch is served! Catherine also enjoys living in the countryside.

The garlic bread was especially yummy!  They used our fresh garlic, Parmesan cheese, and butter on toasted sourdough bread.

fresh garlic bread

fresh garlic bread

Isn’t it fun to share? 😉

Not to change the subject, but did you happen to notice the wooden bowl that my garlic is sitting in?  No?  I’ll show you again:

Garlic in wooden bowl

Garlic sitting pretty in our hand crafted wooden bowl

I love it.  It is pretty special, too, since it was given to us as a wedding gift.  Oh the story gets better!  The wood used is from a tree that was felled from my husband’s grandparent’s home place.  Isn’t that neat?

Spanish Chestnut hand made wooden bowl

Hand crafted Spanish Chestnut wooden bowl

Spanish Chestnut wooden bowl

Spanish Chestnut wooden bowl.  I’m using our Irish woolen blanket to prop it up.  I love Irish handmade items!

It was crafted by Gerard Fox from a Spanish Chestnut tree and is simply beautiful.

Gerard Fox is the craftsman

Gerard Fox is the craftsman

It is nice to be able to use it, even if just for rather dirty garlic! I love having such beautiful things all around…

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea with a backdrop of end of season lavender

like sweet pea in a vase…

I hope you have lots of beautiful things all around you, too.
Enjoy the moment!

Dana

Sweet Peas in the Summer Time

Purple sweet pea.

Purple sweet pea.

They really do live up to their name!  Sweet pea.  They have a lovely sweet fragrance, which matches their very pretty flower.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I planted some at the front of my fruit garden in the hopes that they would help beautify it.  I’m not sure if that is exactly what you’d say they are doing, but I think they are lovely!

One way to add a little splash to the edible garden!

One way to add a little splash of color to the edible garden!

They are a somewhat delicate flower, showing off different shades of pinks and purples with a few white ones thrown in for good measure.

A little sun light goes a long way to showcase the flowers.

A little sun light goes a long way to showcase the flowers.

It is seriously difficult to make the darn chicken wire look attractive. I was going for the “curtain of flowers” look!  I am considering other options for the future though.  I’d love to source some sort of wooden tee-pee type structure.  I’ll let you know if (I mean when) I find them!

A light shade of pink sweet pea.

A light shade of pink sweet pea.

It rained today.  It felt like today was the day we’d make-up for all of the rain we didn’t get this summer! Lashing rain all day.  Yuck.  So I felt the need to post my pictures of sun kissed sweet peas.  Lots of ’em.

Multicolored sweet pea.

Multicolored sweet pea.

There’s no point in wasting perfectly happy pictures, right?  I do realize that the content for sweet peas is quite light, but I think that is O.K. now and again.

Climbing upwards.

Climbing upwards.

One sweet pea  in full bloom and one starting to open.

One sweet pea in full bloom and one starting to open.

Purple. What's not to like?

Purple. What’s not to like?

Sweet pea.

Sweet pea.

A peachy/pinky colored sweet pea (captured when the sun was behind a cloud!)

A peachy/pinky colored sweet pea.

And here's a picture of that cloud!

I love this picture because all I can see is a heart!

Sweet pea.

Sweet pea.

They are such a sweet, simple flower.  And so easy to grow!  I’m glad I planted them this year.  I hope they brightened your day like they did mine! 🙂

Dana

End of July Garden Tour featuring Brussels Sprouts and Globe Artichokes

Brussels Sprouts & Pumpkins.

Brussels Sprouts & Pumpkins.

The garden is really looking full!  The Brussels sprouts plants are getting huge! The stalks are just starting to produce itty bitty teeny weeny little sprouts!

Brussels Sprouts (teeny weeny ones!)

Brussels Sprouts (teeny weeny ones!)

Yeah, well, maybe you can’t see them on a compressed picture.  You might just have to take my word that they are actually there!  Every day there seems to be just a bit more growth.

Brussels Sprouts' large purplish colored leaves.

Brussels Sprouts’ large purplish colored leaves.

Brussels Sprouts are a new adventure for us.  We started our garden three seasons ago, and every year we have expanded and tried something new.  I love that!  But I really think we need to add another bed for next year.  My pumpkin plants are squished!  I think I want a nice big bed just for pumpkins. 🙂

The veggie beds.

The veggie beds.

Here is a look at the other side of the garden.  The potatoes are doing well.  We’re still eating “last year’s” potatoes!  The peas are almost ready for picking.

Peas.

Peas.

Peas.

Peas.

Garlic, carrots, swede (turnip), parsnips, beets, rainbow chard, and more pumpkins.

Garlic, carrots, swede (turnip), parsnips, beets, rainbow chard, and more pumpkins.

Here’s what I’ve learned this season: Swede need their own bed since their leaves will cover up everything around them!  Carrots need to go in the higher beds to avoid carrot fly. We could never plant too much beet root (not enough of them germinated this year).  Planting onions from seed is easy.  That sticking extra pumpkin plants into one half of a tiny little veggie beds was a crazy idea.  I think a big bed right next to those veggie beds is just the thing!  Now to convince my husband 😉

View of garden with Sweet Pea.

A very busy picture! My focus was on the Sweet Pea at the front of the garden.

We planted some sweet pea at the top of our fruit garden (well, it is mostly fruit).  I wanted something fun to brighten it up.  I think they’ve done a good job.  We were quite late in planting them, so they aren’t in all of their glory just yet.

Sweet pea.

Sweet pea change color as they age.

Sweet pea.

Sweet pea.

Different shades of sweet pea.

Different shades of sweet pea.

It rather felt a bit like cheating when I bought a globe artichoke plant this year.  Isn’t that silly?  I have a few packets of seeds, but just never got around to planting them.  But in the end, I’m delighted that I did buy the plant because look what I have now:

Globe Artichoke plant.

Globe Artichoke plant.

This is one rather tall plant!  I have counted 5 baby artichokes on it!

A few of the artichokes.

A few of the artichokes.

Artichoke up close.

Artichoke up close.

When do I confess that I have never had a fresh artichoke???  I love canned ones though! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!  (Guess who will be searching the internet  looking up how to cook a fresh artichoke?)

The front garden with a globe artichoke plant.

The front garden with a globe artichoke plant.

I have the globe artichoke in one of my flower beds.  I’ve seen them in gardens before and I found them to be a showy plant, and here is where I wanted mine to perform.

Flower garden with a globe artichoke plant and a view!

Flower garden with a globe artichoke plant and a view.

What simple pleasures!  How lovely to be able to plant food and flowers and enjoy their beauty and their taste!  Have you planted something new this year?

Dana

Some of my Shasta Daisy :-)

Some of my Shasta Daisy 🙂