Sweet Peas

Nobody sees a flower really- it is so small it takes time- and we haven’t time- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

Georgia O’ Keeffe

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.



I planted Sweet Peas in March. I prepared the soil in a planter bought with birthday money from my in-laws. I stuck laser cut words on the planter… DANCE… ENJOY they said. When everything was ready I soaked the seeds overnight and tucked them into their beds of dirt and prayed they would find the light and reach into it. And they did. First they were little shoots of green barely out of the soil. Soon they needed something to climb, so my dad made a trellis from the leftover fencing in the shed. They grew fast, spreading all over the trellis, even spilling down the front of the planter. For months there was just green, and then a couple of days ago I was out in the garden and I noticed it as I walked past, the first flower, a purple one. I was so excited to see it; that one little flower, but today there is another and I know before long the trellis will be a riot of colour covering the patch of wall above the planter box.

I planted Sweet Peas because they remind me of my grandmother. Every year she grew them across a net spread between some poles in her yard and I remember them as a wall of colour and light that appeared every spring. I loved walking out to the back of the garden to look at it. Gran’s garden was a place of magic for me, a world outside of time and the realities of everyday life. I would wander around it, lost in the stories in my head. A place I felt a kind of quiet in my spirit. A thin place. A place where I could take the time needed to see the flowers, to see the goodness and beauty that is at the heart of everything. When I work in my own garden I feel that magic; I sense that I am stepping outside the confines of time and space into a deeper reality that infuses our everyday experience with its light and power. I love the quote by Georgia O’ Keeffe; it too reminds me of my gran. She took the time to nurture and to see, and to be my friend. She did not raise her voice, she was a gentle presence that grew beautiful things in me.






One thought on “Sweet Peas

  1. oh how i love your musings on sweet peas .. you took me right back to your grandmothers garden and I remembered the little girl – me – that loved to run to the back garden in sweet pea season because as I rounded the corner of the house – there they would be hanging from the fence in a cascade of colour, like wild abandoned dancers. and i would slowly walk the length of the fence pressing my nose against them sniffing in their sweetness and in the heady sensuality of the moment sort of falling in love with them, one by one. And then came the day when gran decided to pull them out and not replant them and i remember feeling such sadness and going to the back garden never again carried quite the same sense of delight and anticipation.


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