You may have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot about gardening recently. Well, at this time of year it seems to be what occupies my time, this mad seasonal enthusiasm before the end of summer brings it all tumbling down with a final spurt of excessive growth.
Yes, I’m a fair-weather gardener, the type of gardener who, once September at latest is done, hangs up his trowel and hibernates until the spring arrives. I’ve never understood this cycle. I enjoy growing things but obviously not enough to sustain me over the winter months. I really must try harder - which brings me to my sweet peas.
My sweet peas were planted way back in February in pots that overran the kitchen worksurface and got in the way when we were preparing our winter soups and stews; ‘a nuisance’ my wife called them and indeed they were.
Now, over four months later, those same nuisances fill my back yard with a pungent sweet fragrance each day, their colours as diverse and subtle as autumn sunsets. I find myself rising early just so that I can sit outside and breathe in their heady fumes. Their smell reminds me of something, although I’m not sure what, and it probably doesn’t matter. That aroma is enough in itself.
I should have grown more. I should have grown them in strips just two inches apart and three deep in the tray so that I could plant them out in blocks rather than individual seedlings. Ah, the wonder of hindsight.
No matter. There’s always next year.