Tag Archives: Cerinthe major Purpurascens

In a vase on Monday – Unseasonal delights


My first Monday vase in a while has been prompted by the excitement of having April Sweet Peas to share.

Encouraged by Julie at Peonies and Posies I sowed some Owl’s Acre Winter Sunshine
seeds in the autumn and then planted them out in the unheated greenhouse in February. This Winter Sunshine strain has been specially bred to cope with the ‘sub-optimal light conditions’ at this time of year, and, whilst Owl’s Acre suggests they could flower in March, I was a bit delayed in planting them out and so am thrilled to have blooms to cut before the middle of April.  Not only do they have good long stems but also have that gorgeous sweet pea scent.  Mmmm.

As I only had three stems I needed to mix them with something else, and chose the equally unseasonal Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens.’  (According to Sarah Raven’s website these should flower from June).  These stems were cut from a plant which had self seeded and over wintered in the pebbly path near the metal troughs, so it was no great loss to cut them as they really shouldn’t be there anyway!IMG_0194

Sweet pea, Winter Sunshine, LavenderIMG_0192

Sweet pea, Winter Sunshine, CreamIMG_0199

I’m also growing a third colour, ‘Mid Blue’, but that one’s being a little shyer than the others to flower.

So, here is my Monday vase, photographed on Sunday evening in front of the still leafless over the road oak, and now on the table in a (still) Aga warmed kitchen.  Bonkers!

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting all our Monday vases.IMG_0190