Late last fall I noticed a couple of volunteer sweet pea plants in the garden. I decided not to pull them as I did my autumn clean up. I figured if they made it through winter, great. If they froze, well, they’d turn into fresh mulch for the garden. As they grew, for however long they grew, they would help fix nitrogen in the soil.
Miraculously, they made it all the way through winter. And, by early spring, they were blooming. This, in a year when many sweet peas didn’t begin blooming until June or July. And, frankly, these tough volunteers ended up performing better and lasting longer than the plants seeded this spring.
These deep purple, highly fragrant plants produced prolifically until just a few days ago when I finally pulled them from the beds where they were sprawling among tomatoes and carrots and draping across shrubs and grasses, covering pathways and patios. Below them, the ground was covered with seed already spit from dried, twisted, split pods. And, still on the withering vines, were a number of intact, dry, mature seed pods ready for harvest.
I swept up lots of the seed from the flagstone path that had been hidden beneath one of the plants, and I scattered that seed around the garden in hopes it might germinate and again make it through winter for an early bloom.
And, yes, before the tumbleweed looking bundles of finished pea vines were deposited in the compost, I harvested many seed pods from them to save and to share. (Who wants?)
And, although it is mid-August, these tenacious little vines were still sprouting just a few detectible blossoms, which I plucked and placed in this sweet little honey of a vase from my friend Theresa of Living Homegrown Fresh® & Growing a Greener World TV fame. The fragrance wafts my way in the kitchen, reminding me of spring. And of winter. And of every season nature brings.