Friday, 3 September 2010
Never too late
I decided this year to try a different approach with one of my favourite flowers, the humble Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus, Latin fans!).
One year I had the whole conservatory at the Manse filled with blooms. Cut and come again from July to late September. Most visitors, friends, bereaved, wedding and baptism couples went away that year with armfuls of the glorious blooms. That started out as an unplanned indoor display. I'd had them potted up, three seeds per pot, on the east facing conservatory windowsills, intending to transfer them to the garden once established. The transfer never happened and the sweet peas joyfully took over every available inch of window space, like rainbow stained glass letting in the morning's lemony light.
When I moved into my retirement house a few minutes' walk away, I still have an easterly facing conservatory, but planted up my sweet peas at the far end of the garden, trellised against the fence under the fruit tree. The ground was very stony and the earth quite thin under there; the snails had a field day, so I put down piles of bran which the little darlings gorged on instead and left the pea shoots alone (mostly!). The sweet peas thrived but could only be seen in the distance from the house.
So this year, I planted some in one of the hanging baskets closest to the house. Nothing seemed to be happening much for ages. July came and went. August too; one visitor said her Sweet Peas had flowered and finished ages ago. Then today, at last, among the tendrils and leaves, one bloom, promising more to come. Not just any bloom, but a rich purple, one of my favourite colours.
Spring is beautiful; but Autumn speaks of God's love, too, and it's never too late for the hidden seed to blossom.