Linnet Peas, delicious, but tiny peas.
Linnets are small finches, and the name also applies to these peas – tiny. Even though you get 7 or 8 peas to a pod, each pod is only 3 or 4cm long. It would be easy to swap these peas for something larger and more robust, but they are perfect for modern small gardens as they only grow to about 30cm at most. They take time to germinate, and I have just sown a second crop in the vague hope that they will provide some peas in late summer – however I am waging a war with some pesky squirrels who even had the tenacity to dig up and eat my only carrot!, and I suspect it will do the same with the pea seeds. I am now seeking ways of deterring squirrels. Clearly the bell and spinning cd are having no effect! I have just been to check them and they are coming through in just 5 days! Go for it!
Linnets are yet another bird on the decline – their population decreasing by 50% in the last 30 years. Although they do eat insects from time to time, they are principally seed feeders – flax seeds being a favourite, but they are known to like over 35 different types of seed – cabbage seeds also being a great source of food, but modern gardeners seldom grow cabbages, let alone allow them to go to seed!
Do watch out for linnets during your summer holidays especially if you are off to the seaside as they do like coastal habitats. They are social birds and tend to live in small flocks of about 20 or so. Years ago they used to be caught and kept in cages as they have such a delightful, melodious song. They have an undulating flight, often calling as they flick past. With a hint of pinkish red on their breast and on the males forehead, a forked tail you do get a sense of achievement when you spot linnets these days.
Give peas a chance and quickly sow a second or even first crop. There is nothing like fresh peas from the garden. A tiny cane or trimmings from a pruned crop are all they need to scramble up a mere 30cm.
Enjoy your garden, give peas a chance.