Sweet Pea Challenge: And The Winner Is…

Okay, it’s officially fall. In Canada we’ve had our Thanksgiving dinners, and according to the weather man, the rain is on its way :-( It’s been a good ride, though, hasn’t it?

But, all good rides must come to an end, so today I’m going to announce the winner of the sweet pea challenge between my Dad and me. Remember my cheeky post way back in May?

Here’s the photograph I totally photoshopped to suggest this is how my sweet peas were going to grow!

After all, aren’t we supposed to ‘vision’ our desired outcome? ;-)

So, I got the seeds going… set them in a container, covered them with water, and put paper towel on top. Then they went into a dark closet, and were left for about a week, but I made sure the paper towel remained moist.

This is what they looked like on planting day!

I had already planted about half of them before I remembered to take this photo!

I ended up with waaaay more than I needed…

So the rest were planted in these round pots.

My Dad is such a good sport. He didn’t think my idea to let the sweet peas climb up the lattice of the heat pump surround was such a great idea. So, he helped me out by building a proper trellis.

Complete with perfectly placed netting!

And then we sat back to see whose sweet peas were going to grow!

In no time at all mine were off to the races, looking pretty good!

Dad’s, on the other hand, weren’t doing so hot. I don’t have any photos of his progress at this point, but he was pretty sure they weren’t going to make it.

So I passed these pots of extras on to him!

One good turn deserves another, right?

While Dad’s were busy rerouting themselves (or is that re-’rooting’? ;-) ), and trying to play catch-up…

Mine were thriving!

And then I got to make the first phone call. You know the one!

Oh yah, uh-huh…

Flowers on the vine!

Pretty, pretty flowers!

And enough to pick my first bouquet!

Oh, how beautiful they smelled! Picture a happy dance, and a little side-line gloating ;-)

But then the unthinkable happened!

Look closely at the stems at the end of each arrow…

That’s right. My beloved sweet peas were grazed by the neighbourhood deer! Can I just say, they ARE. NOT. CUTE!!!

So in an effort to keep the deer out, every night hubs would lean an extra piece of lattice over the whole sweet pea patch.

And we even tried this.

Bobbex Deer Repellent

Bobbex is an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, all natural repellent that is smell-y!

But by now Dad’s sweet peas were well on their way and catching up! And mine, well… I was able to squeeze another teeny, tiny bouquet from them. So, I took this as a sign they were on the mend.

Only now, the tables were turned. Dad’s sweet peas were totally flourishing.

And he was only too happy to send this bouquet my way… can you tell?

It’s killing me to point this out, but his bouquet was about twice the size of my first pride and joy bunch! And he was picking multiple bouquets at once :-|

While Dad continued to ‘harvest’ his crop…

Mine continued to wither away :-(

That’s right. Wither and die! So sad :-( :-( :-(

Now it’s my turn to be a good sport, and announce Dad as the winner of the sweet pea challenge! {cringe, wince, choke}

Yah, that’s right. Dad totally swept this one away! I mean, look at how high his sweet peas grew! Even if mine survived, they wouldn’t have reached this height, because my trellis wasn’t even close in size! What was I thinking?

So, the wine was on me… but we shared it over a BBQ dinner at Dad’s house. That was the deal. Wine was consumed at the winner’s house, and we all pitched in on dinner :-)

Of course, when I was leaving, Dad couldn’t resist but to send me on my way with one last bouquet!

And you know what? He’s still picking the last of his sweet peas before putting the garden to bed for the winter!

Congratulations, Dad!

And what about next year? Um, don’t even go there. Didn’t I mention, all good rides must come to an end?!

How did your garden grow this year? Do you have any stories to share… do you battle the deer where you live?

Thanks for stopping by!

Photography by Sheila Zeller

Comments

  1. That’s awesome that you and your dad have these fun competitions Sheila. Sorry about your sweet peas but you did get to enjoy some beautiful flowers and some wine. Darn deer are everywhere here as well and at the beginning of the season I noticed tons of flowers and plants marked “Deer Repelllant”. It’s funny to see when you’re not from BC.

  2. Congrats Sheila’s dad! His sweet peas really grew beautifully :-) At least you managed to get a bouquet from yours before the deer found them and they dried up – mine didn’t even get to the point of latching onto anything. Our summer was so hot & dry, and after being away for a week and seeing the sorry state they were ion when we got back, I gave up and tossed them. They were pretty hopeless looking! I’ll come up with a better plan for next year.

    Overall, my gardens this year pretty much sucked. Out of three blue hydrangeas plants, I got two sad flower heads. The heat & dry weather killed most of my impatiens. My hostas & ornamental grasses did well, but our lawn is horrible. It’s almost all brown & dead. Which kills me, because we used to have the most beautiful green lush lawn. It’s slowly been going downhill over the last couple of summers, and this summer did it in. We’re going to have to re-seed the whole thing. And let’s not even go into the backyard, which is full of holes that Toby dug!

    • Awe, Kelly, that sounds terrible about your lawn :-( Hopefully the weather will be a little more ‘balanced’ next year. I was thrilled with the stretch of sunshine we enjoyed, but it came on the heels of so much rain… and now, it’s pouring out again, and I mean pouring! I don’t mind the rain or the heat, but it would be so much better if there was a happy medium between the two!

  3. Awesome post Sheila- it makes me happy to see you and your Dad having fun and staying close :) the sweet peas are still by far my fab <3 Honeysuckle is a close second !!

    • Thank you so much, Sue! How awesome to see your name pop up here :-) I shared the comments with Dad, and he was so pleased to know you left a comment. And his response was that Honeysuckle is his close second, too! Please say hi to your mom and Ron for both of us!!!

  4. Haha! Too Funny! I can totally sympathize! When I lived on the island, each summer I had mounds of gorgeous hostas. Oh, I loved hosta! Then one morning I went out to water and there was nothing left but nubs. Those darn deer. So heartbreaking. Ok, I know it’s only a plant…but you understand. The photos of your dad tendering and gloating over his crop crack me up. Fun story! :)

    • Those darn deer! I know the feeling of nubs completely. You just stand there and stare, and can’t quite believe you’re seeing what you’re seeing. The biggest insult was how they chomped and tugged the plants out of the ground, took a taste, and spit the rest out! AAaaarrrgggg!!! My Dad definitely got the last gloat ;-) !!!

  5. well I would say – good for Dad, there can only be one winner, my heart goes out to you so, gardening is a hit and miss thing – good thing is – there is always next year.

  6. HA! At least your dad shared the flowers!! I can’t grow a thing to save my life but my good friend does … and the deer grazing on her vegetables is the the bane of her gardening existence!!

  7. Too funny! I love a good friendly challenge. The look on your dad’s face is priceless and I’m sure you heard all about it several times. I think you better do a double or nothing challenge next year. Thanks for sharing. I really got a good chuckle reading your post!

    • Oh yes, I definitely heard about the outcome of this challenge more than once! And after I showed him the post, he thought he might still have a few flowers left to pick yet! Just had to throw that in there, he did! ;-)

  8. Hey I like how you showed us the early stages ….. I would have just planted the seeds in the ground and hoped for the best. Sweet peas are one of my favorite flowers. I look forward to your crop next year, you can do it, I know you can!!!

  9. I love the friendly competition you and your dad had! Too bad though that your sweet pea’s died :( But you are a good sport so next year you will kick butt! Have a great weekend Sheila!

  10. How sweet! And I love that you both competed, and had such a great challenge, and were good sports! Those bouquets are beautiful! I’m also turning thoughts to climbing flowers at our new little house – nasturtiums, passion flowers, honeysuckle…. but I didn’t think of sweet peas! *now considering sweet peas*

    • Sweet Peas smell so incredible! But I like all your picks – I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these choices! I especially love nasturtiums for their bright, firey colours, and they’re fun to put in a salad, too :-)

  11. Hahahaha, you are a gracious loser. And his flowers are FABULOUS!! I can’t believe they’re as tall as he is. :)

  12. Too cute Sheila…both you AND your dad! They sure are pretty…lucky dad for having such a great sport as a daughter! Better luck next year? lol…have a good weekend!

  13. What a sweet post — i have tears in my eyes! I love this and I love how HAPPY your dad looks!!!! sending you and him a ton of hugs!!!! you both did an incredible job only he out did you a little ; ) hey — if i did this challenge…well there would be none because alas — i have black thumbs! : ) Thanks for the smile I LOVED IT!!!!

    • Andrea, this was such a sweet comment! Thank you so much. You made my day, and I’ll definitely be passing along the hugs – that will make Dad’s day! And BIG HUGS back to you!!! xo

  14. Love a little family competition! What a sweet guy for getting you going and sharing his beautiful harvest. The record temps had my garden looking a little crispy, they bounced back with the cooler weather. :)

    • Dad was pretty generous with his bouquets… he shared his flowers with me, his neighbour, and the club house where he plays golf, not to mention the vases he kept filled on his own table. I think it’s fair to say, he seriously won this challenge hands down! There’s always next year – at least, I’m hoping! Our weather has totally turned, and it’s pouring, pouring, POURING! From one extreme to another.

  15. Oh no! Your sad brown mess resembles my gardening adventures too Sheila! Pretty great that you and your dad can do this. Fun and funny.!

    • I know, that poor sad brown mess is still mocking me! I need to get out there and winterized my yard, empty all my pots, and just put things to bed. And… the incredible down pours got in the way of my weekend plans! Meanwhile, Dad continues to pick random sweet peas – they just refuse to die!!!

  16. Oh Sheila, that was such a great post idea! BOth of yours were so gorgeous, I think you are both winners!

    I happen to love sweet peas, such a humble, simple, amazing smelling flower. I need to plant there again some time, hopefully next year… You’ve inspired Me!

    • Awe, thank you Jodi! I love sweet peas so much. You just can’t beat how incredible they smell, and they’re so cheerful. I hope you plant some next year… I am definitely going to give it another go :-)

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