Percy Proudfoot Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) One of the most incredible family heirloom seed saves of all time, discovered at the bottom of a trunk in Thunder Bay, Ontario by our Grandma Judy! These sweet peas had been in an envelope since 1912 with 100 or so viola flowers tied in small bundles with string, along with a few other seeds. The message written on the front; "first of season...Violets from my dear friend May... June 8th 1912" May was Judy's grandmother and it appears as if the envelope was gifted back to her at some point before she passed in the 1960's. May's husband Percy was a professional photographer in his lifetime and an avid horticulturist tending to his backyard oasis of flowers and fruit trees. We noted a few pictures of Percy standing beside his trellised peas and ornamentals! It is likely the seeds would have come form the Proudfoot gardens on Meryle Street in Thunder Bay. The local cemetery would eventually encroach into Percy's former flower beds and garden plots, reinforcing the term "pushing daisies".
Upon opening the envelope, it was obvious that the viola seeds had since desiccated and were no longer viable, however, there were two other seeds sources inside, including several small dark grey seeds resembling that of buckshot, A very limited number of these germinated in the spring of 2021. We guarded them with our lives and they eventually sprouted into sweet peas. An incredible moment for us, noticing the emergence of each of the 7 sprouts in total! The power and energy of a seed is simply amazing!
The resulting flowers were even more astonishing. This sweet pea's bi-coloured blue and purple flowers are extremely fragrant. It is an early bloomer and an early finisher but so worthy. A stand out from a great distance, Percy Proudfoot sweet peas will climb 5-6 feet in their lifecycle. We think this is a very old Italian variety aka 'Sicilian Monk Peas' since they are so highly fragrant and early to bloom. Limited quantities for 2021.
Germination: 14-21 days
Extremely RARE - 20 seeds per packet $3.95
Transplants are best. Scarify seeds and soak overnight in warm water or a weak solution of Chamomile tea. - Sow 1/4- 1/2" deep into 72-cell flats or preferred deep-cell seedling container, 4-5 weeks before planting out. Darkness is required for germination. Direct seed - 6 weeks before last frost. Seedlings can tolerate a light frost. Put trellis in place and pinch when 6-8" tall to encourage more blooms.
**CAUTION** Sweet Peas can be toxic if consumed in large enough quantities. Keep children and pets from consuming all parts of the plant.