Sweet peas (Lathyrus odorata) are annual climbing plants with fragrant and romantically ruffled, pea-shaped blooms. Though they have intoxicated cottage gardeners since their discovery way back in 1695, I had no burning desire to grow them. At least I didn’t until a recent, fateful, visit to the Chelsea Flower Show. Inside the Grand Pavilion were perfectly arranged waves of intensely fragrant sweet peas. Suddenly I had to have them! It was if some ancient English genetic activity kicked into gear and I was helpless to resist its urges. I bought a few packets, debated with Australian customs and sowed them. That was the beginning of more failed attempts than I care to remember. Several seasons, and quite some research later, we have developed a successful strategy that sees the house filled with those lovely blooms all through spring.