My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Lathyrus - Sweet pea

Lathyrus

This design was entered in the craft section of a show. I grew my bag over 12 weeks. Each day I would guide the tiny fresh growth of the Sweet Pea plants to completely cover the wire structure. Also pictured are miniature Phalaenopsis orchids and cape gooseberries

Common name

Sweet pea

Origin

Southern to Central Europe

Varieties

The annual varieties have a strong fragrance and the perennials are grown for their tendrils. New varieties improve on vase life and are very popular as a cut flower.

Colors

white, cream, red purple, lilac, pink, violet, red, orange, burgundy, salmon, apricot and bi-coloured

Vase life

Seven to ten days with proper care. Avoid bright sunlight and humidity

Scent

Very fragranced. Especially varieties from Italy

Uses

I just love sweet pea tendrils. Unfortunately the flowers grown for the floral industry do not have the wonderful tendrils- those you have to grow yourself. Luckily this is easy, fast and hugely rewarding. It also has the most magnificent seedpods. The flowers look fantastic in a rustic just picked in my garden type arrangement. Perfect choice for romantic or fairy like designs for flower girls. Very feminine

Conditioning

Do not spray the flowers with water. It disfigures the petals. Strip the stems of foliage that might be below the conditioning water line. Give the stem a fresh cut at an angle and condition in warm water with dissolved flower food for a minimum of two hours but preferably over night.

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Related Designs

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14 April 2011 In the Bag

My bag was woven from re-purposed wire and recycled fishing line and tiny stems of growing sweet pea plants and orchids