Hand thrown porcelain pot by Louis Mideke
Shaw Island, Summer 2014
We all know that Gwen loved flowers, but with a healthy love of books, she also contributed as a trustee on the first board of directors to help round up supportive charter members.
The native, Lathyrus latifolius vine enjoyed a prominent place in Gwen's own garden overlooking Wasp Pass, but I neglected to ask if she adopted a plant from the wild, or started one from purchased seed.
Gwen grew her perennial Sweet Pea specimen for at least twenty years, on its own 7-ft iron support with the vine staying right where it was planted, displaying good manners, without making babies, perhaps due to deadheading of the old blooms, which she knew to be important.
For a good portion of this summer of 2014, several friends and one young apprentice botanist know I've been prowling and researching wild Sweet Peas--not classified as a beach pea, or a vetching.*
Mary Lou, another great island gardener used to give her annual Sweet Peas an early start by sowing them in the autumn season, in a warm southerly location next to her house. She remembers that wild Sweet Peas used to grow along Shaw Island ditches before our roads were so well maintained by the County Road crew.
Blooms of summer '14.
According to seed specialist, Renee Shepherd, this species can be trained as an attractive and reliable perennial hedge plant, much more drought tolerant than the annual sweet peas. Here is a link to her site.
Prone to diseases if seedlings are over watered.
Enjoys the sun.
Some good culture notes here
*Favored reference for this Lathyrus study;
Clark, Lewis J. Wild Flowers of the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to Northern California; Sidney, B.C., Gray Publishing Ltd. 1976.
|The sweet pea packets are processed and |
on the rack at the Gatehouse,
Squaw Bay Road, Shaw Island.