I am very fond of sweet peas, they are one of my desert island plants and I grow them every year. I am old enough and have been gardening long enough to know that mice eat sweet pea seeds.
Last year they ate some of my sweet pea seeds, which were in the greenhouse. I noted that only the ones in the flowerpots were eaten and the ones in the cardboard centers from toilet rolls were fine.
This year the majority of seeds were again sown in the cardboard tubes, and guarded from the mice. Germination was successful and the seedlings grew up well and strong.
My attention was then diverted to the pea seeds – which are also beloved by mice. So imagine my horror when I went into the greenhouse to find that all the green shoots of the sweet peas had been bitten off and spat out on to the greenhouse staging and the seeds dug up and chewed into little bits.
Why, I ask myself would they spit out the tender green shoots and chew up the tough seeds. This was even more galling as I have come to an arrangement with our local shop to take the old fruit and veg off their hands. So my compost bin is full of the most enticing things that a mouse could desire. But no, they chose the sweet peas ….. again.
As well as growing sweet peas for myself – I also grow them for a few other people. Shedman suggested that I should pop along to a garden center and buy some all ready grown – but this does go against the grain.
I did, however go to the nearest place (An hour round trip) that sells seeds and buy a few more packets – but it’s not the same. They didn’t stock the varieties that I had agonized over for hours..
One of the treats during the winter months, is to lie in the bath and read seed catalogs (What! don’t you read yours in the bath?) I enjoy reading about all the different varieties of sweet pea – planning the colour schemes of my tepees so they will look ‘Oh so tasteful’ and dreaming of the summer garden.
Anyway – second batch is now sown, and Shedman has devised a rather wonderful raised coldframe that the mice will never be able to get into. The sweet peas may be a tad late and by the summer, I will probably not even notice the difference in the varities …. so please keep your fingers crossed that they germinate quickly – because my BIG concern is how to tell Dobby that her sweet peas got eaten.
The photograph is of my Dicentra Spectablis Alba – White Bleeding Heart, which is looking particularly divine just now, and certainly looks a lot better than cardboard tubes with no sweet peas in them.