It was almost like winning the lottery today, meeting the owner of one of my favourite local gardens. It's down by the creek, a rambling old garden treasure with old classics - roses (climbing and bush), chinese lanterns, pansies and the most beautiful sweet peas you can imagine. We exchanged greetings and comments about the weather which lead to me professing my love for his garden. Tickled, he chatted on - he had always loved gardening and enjoyed trying new things.
His sweet peas were about my height, climbing yards up a frame made from what appeared to be old tomato stakes and chook netting. He had bought them as seedlings, not knowing what colours he'd get, but hoping for some two-tone specimens. He's not sure how they grow like that and would like to find out more. Perhaps he'll work it out one day, he thinks. Bill says the bees don't go near them, so he can't work out how they're pollinated - perhaps it was the wind?
'Would you like some?' Bill asked and sweet peas being sweet peas, there was no way I could refuse. They were one of the first things I grew as a newly-wed on the west coast of Ireland, right on the edge of the Atlantic. They survived the wild winds in their little planter box - not quite gales as it was summer after all. I just remember the sheer joy I took from that little offering of my first garden. I have some growing this year too - seedlings, so like Bill I'm not sure what colours will spring up. Bill has inspired me to grow more next year and I know just how as well... tomato stakes and chook netting anybody?!