It’s sweet pea time! Sweet peas are amazing things. They were, according to Wikipedia, “the floral sensation of the late Victorian era” and they have the names to prove it; enchanting names like Bronze Prince, Black Knight, Mrs. Bernard Jones, and Lady Grisel Harrington. And the scented ones smell heavenly. But despite how carefully they’ve been bred and cultivated, my experience of them is that they are wanton enthusiasts and hardy as hell – almost as hardy as sunflowers, which have been known to sprout from randomly tossed seed in the same unhospitable soil. Lucky for me! Last weekend, I felt like planting sweet peas and realized I didn’t have any. Darn it. Then I looked down.
These are all volunteers from last year. Against all odds, they sprouted in wood chips covering hard packed clay. So really, how delicate could they be?
Here’s what they look like when you dig them up. The whole pea comes with the sprout.
And I had so many! All of a sudden it seemed like everywhere I looked there was another sweet pea sprout. So I carefully dug them all up and then replanted them along the wagon wheel fence, which was where they had been last year and where I wanted them again. And yes, dear reader, each little group of transplanted sweet peas has its own little string to climb up. It took hours, and was the perfect, meditative job for someone with a bit of an obsessive bent (i.e., moi).
When I was finally, painfully done, I looked around for my next project and found these – crazy little sunflower sprouts that had patiently waited out the winter in the bottom of a terra cotta pot and sprouted hopefully in about a teaspoonful of soil. So I carefully transplanted those too. And this week, I’m happy to report, most of them are still alive.