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Sweet Pea that has run wild

It is a rich, full-bodied whistle,

cracked ice crunching in pails,

the night that numbs the leaf,

the duel of two nightingales,

the sweet pea that has run wild,

Creation’s tears in shoulder blades

–Boris Pasternak, “Definition of Poetry”

We’re still in the middle of nights that have the potential to numb leaves, but my sweet peas are starting to bloom, even the smaller ones nearly a foot tall. This has to be my favorite, and most anticipated season in the garden. I’m learning–trying–to love summer and our hotter months, but these are honestly my favorite months in the garden. From February to April is when the garden wakes up, when the would-be form starts taking shape.

But I love it because it really boils down to my spring flowers. I just love them above all else, especially the sweet peas. This is only my second year growing them, but I fell so madly in love with them last year that I had to figure out how to fit at least one sweet pea vine in every section of my garden.

The first to bloom were a scarlet-colored Mammoth sweet pea, a winter-blooming variety, and following shortly after were a scarlet Winter Sunshine sweet pea, another winter-blooming kind I bought from England. My favorites of all the earlies are the dainty Painted Lady, whose gorgeous fragrance makes up for their diminutive size.

I’m just a month away from nearly all of these vines exploding. Most of them are quite small but now with the lengthening days they’ve begun to sprout stouter vines, which grow at an exponential rate.

I don’t mind at all that sweet peas last just two or three months here. To me it’s like a temporary artist’s show. We don’t mind at all when a gallery opens and closes a show within a month, so why shouldn’t my garden?

Speaking of gallery, please take a look at some of my indoor flower photography, in which recent winter sweet peas are a huge subject.

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