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Sweet Peas Arroyo Grande’s Flower

Sweet Peas were first grown in Central Coast valleys on an agricultural scale in Lompoc on a ranch that is now Lompoc’s town center in 1907. Lompoc became known as the Sweet Pea Capital, although the Sweet Peas were grown in many other California areas including the Arroyo Grande Valley. The Central Coast’s Mediterranean climate made it perfect for cultivation. In the 1980s there was a movement to name the Sweet Pea as the official City of Arroyo Grande flower but there was also a request to name the Daffodil. A beatification project in Arroyo Grande had planted thousands of Daffodil bulbs throughout the city (you will still see yellow Daffodils on some city banners). During a council meeting it was noted that Sweet Peas made Arroyo Grande Valley famous and the meeting ended with a decision that no city flower was needed. Jump forward to 2006 when volunteers in the city formed a beautification group named Arroyo Grande In Bloom and the City began participating in the national America in Bloom program winning its first award in 2007. In September 2008 the AGIB committee requested that council name the Sweet Pea as the official flower and it passed unanimously.

Photo and story by www.PhotoByVivian.com

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