is what you are if you don't grow peas in your garden this year. What's that you whine? You don't have a vegetable garden? And what does that have to do with the price of teabags these days? Haven't you heard? There's no law against growing veggies in amongst your flowers. On the contrary, it's often very beneficial to both and the gardener as well. Fresh veggies are tasty and healthy and, if you do it like I do, they can be very pretty too.
These are a few of the peas I'm growing from seed this year;
sugar peas, they are very easy to grow, taste delicious and you can harvest them for months.
They look great in your border or flower bed with their pretty little white flowers. They are climbers so you have to have a frame for them. In my nick of the woods you can sow them directly in the soil (after soaking them in water overnight) in April. The germination rate is very high, always a plus in my gardening book.
This is what they look like when they are ready to harvest and don't they look pretty in their spring green frocks?
Sugar peas are easy to cook; just wash them, put them in a pan, add water until they are barely covered. Bring water to the boil and cook them for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve them with a little knob of butter.
I'm also growing peas and frankly if you have never tasted peas straight from the pod you haven't really lived. Eating them that way is such a delight, like a mini explosion of spring in your mouth, so tender and sweet. There is however one drawback; if you've eaten them like that frozen peas and tinned ones will never satisfy you ever again unless you enjoy the taste of sawdust.
Growing them is as easy as falling off the compost heap; you grow them exactly the same as sugar peas. The only difference is that this time you let the pods swell until they have the desired juicy little peas inside them.
This is what you end up with, a basket full of culinary joy. The purple pods? Well, that brings me to another kind of pea I'm growing this year
capucijners, at least that's what we call them in my country. It's something we eat quite a lot but it is apparently practically unheard of in other countries so it may be unfamiliar to you. Its botanical name is Pisum savitum, which is exactly the same as the pea so that's not helping but, after a prolonged spot of googling, I found out that the Brits call them marrow fat peas.
Not the most appetising of names but believe you me, tasty capucijners most certainly are. Here you can mostly buy them dried, tinned or in glass jars, it's not often that you can buy them fresh and that is exactly why I grow them myself.
And just look at those pretty purple and pink flowers, gorgeous enough to grow in your flower border.
Those purple pods would also look very pretty in your border, wouldn't you say? It's almost a shame to pick them but as soon as they are ready; pick them, shell them, rinse them, put in pan with a bit of water, boil for 10 minutes and serve with a little knob of butter.
My capucijners are already in the ground; I'm growing them, just like the peas and the sugar peas in my new border. The capucijners will look great growing in amongst the purple and pink flowers on the right side of the border. I'm expecting the first harvest to be around half June, can't wait to have them fresh on my plate!
Kadootje is checking out a basket full of happiness: sugar peas, broad beans, savory and sweet peas. Which brings me nicely to another pea I'm growing
the sweet pea. I always buy the scented ones, Lathyrus odoratus and I'm having great expectations about these ones.. ;-) And where will they grow this year? Well, in my veggie garden of course.
You grow sweet peas exactly like peas but this time it's the flowers you're after. The more you pick, the more the plant produces. Be sure to feed your sweet peas well and you will be rewarded with a plethora of flowers.
A tiny bouquet like this is able to perfume a whole room. I have little bunches of them dotted around my whole house, utter Bliss. A word to the wise, be sure to never grow peas on the same spot but choose a different spot each year instead.
After reading all this you may rightly conclude that yours truly has peas on the brain but that's quite a step up from being pea brained, wouldn't you say? Do yourself a big favour and go and buy them, sow them & enjoy them in the garden, on your plate or in a vase. There is only one genuine excuse for not growing peas and that's when your climate is not suitable.
copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen