*I first published this last year but I’ve just dusted it off and added some new links for 2009*

Now is the time to be choosing your sweetpeas for next year, this has to be one of my favourite jobs in the winter.  I spend ages thinking about how they’ll look together in the garden and then how they’ll look in the house when they’ve been picked.

My first port of call is Sarah Raven’s website, she’s championed Sweetpeas in the UK and has made them back into a trendy plant, she’s also done wonders for Dahlia’s as well.  Her site gives me an indication of what the trends will be next summer.  Like me she loves the dark ‘old fashioned’ sweetpeas which have lots of scent.  I think that have a better impact in the garden and then have more strength when they are in a vase with old fashioned roses, they don’t get ‘lost’.  Other great sites I’ve found are Simply Sweetpeas and Sweetpeas online who both have a massive selection of the more unusual varities.

Between November and February you can plant the seeds and then pop them in a cold frame or on a window sill – which is where I grown mine. You can buy ‘root trainer’ pots, but I just use recycled toilet rolls like in the picture or cut down kitchen rolls – cheaper and greener!.

Remember to give them something tall to climb (they can go to about 6ft), lots of water mine comes from the tumble drier and the water butt and hopefully by June you end up with something like this

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  1. What lovely photos Liz! These make me excited for spring, even though we barely just started fall! There’s nothing like a mass of sweet peas in their soft colors and fluttery petals to make me smile…and it helps that my mom’s nickname for me when i was little was ‘sweet pea!’! Thanks for brightening my day with this post!

  2. Sweet peas are my favourite flower, my husband lovingly grew me loads of the scented variety this year but as soon as I bought them in the house his hayfever went mad. I ended up having to just look at them on the fence and give them away 🙁 This year non scented ones because I so love to have them all over my house.

  3. Oh we are sweetpea lovers and have a wall of them behind the playhouse. I love the smell and it means we always have fresh flowers in the house. They are such a giving plant. The more you cut the more flowers you get. Plus my neighbours love me, as they cut them from their side of the fence too. I will get looking too. I just love a hotch potch of colours the kitcher the better

  4. I love sweet peas. And my three-year-old boy does too. Mine are still going (just).

    So, have you sown yours already? I had loads of loo roll inners saved but used them for the school gardening club (selfless person I am!) so am resorting to root trainers. I’ve not done an autumn sowing before so we’ll see how they compare.


  5. I’ve saved the loo rolls and I have a few root trainers from last year, like you say the comparison will be interesting. I’m undecided as to what colours to do though, I’m maybe thinking very pale with some very, very dark? But I change my mind EVERY time I look at the various websites, so many to choose from!