The sweet pea, of rustic appearance and harmonious colour range, is one of the distinctive pleasures of high summer in the garden. Grown on the cordon system and kept picked, they will continue to yield for weeks. Like any cut flower, they need to be constantly looked over and attended to, just for a few minutes each evening. This means cutting the magnificently fragrant flowers regularly, otherwise they will readily go to seed, and the plants’ lifecycle will soon be over. This is the sort of gentle pottering, little and often, of which so much good gardening is made.

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