In March I promised myself I would finally plant sweet peas. I wasn’t going to let anything deter me. Well, everything did and they didn’t get planted.
Along about the first few weeks in June I saw an interesting little volunteer popping up. It looked just like sweet peas. I moved a trellis to have something for it to climb. Then I remembered. A few years, that’s maybe five or six, I gathered some seeds from Vickie’s, my sister-in-law, garden off of her sweet pea plants. They grow wild there, year after year.
Just like Janice, my mother-in-law, iris, I set them aside for the summer and said I would plant them in the spring. (I’ve moved the iris from house to another, from one bed to another, and they grow like crazy. Do you want some?) But I didn’t plant the sweet peas. That fall I decided to throw them in some soil, “Just to see what might happen.” Nothing. For five or six years, nothing happened.
This june they sprouted. I guess my moms, who have been gone now and are dearly missed, got tired of my promises and took things into their own hands. If you follow my pictures of my garden, you know how prolific the iris are.
Now, I have sweet peas. Thank you, Mom.
Here is the poem I wrote earlier this year. Silly me.
Lent and Sweetpeas
I’m going to grow sweet peas this spring
I won’t allow the busyness of the day to interrupt
I won’t let the excuse of sultry spring sun
and red clay soil divert me from my plans
I can’t remember now
and being there is no one to ask
when I was young
or maybe it was eight
planted sweet peas in the backyard for my birthday
Were they to be in bloom by my birthday
or did she plant on my birthday
always a few days either side of Mother’s Day
Edging a small patch of grass squared by
Gus’ gas station
my father’s television repair shop
and Washington Street
she knelt on red clay soil
already sprayed for bugs and weeds
my father’s madness
I now understand
maybe to forget
mostly to make something pretty
almost certainly to give me hope
To my surprise
surely not her’s
ruffly pink flowers on twisting stems
twining their way around a chain link fence bordered by
and thirsty bistre grass still in winter slumber
I’m going to plant sweet peas
in my clay soiled garden