Remember to Stop and Smell the Sweet Peas

Jun 26th

Summer is my favorite season of the year. With the sun perched high in the sky, the trees in full leafy flush and the garden just starting to hint at the years harvest, summer brings both respite from the dullness of a long winter and a super-shot of energy to help me tackle projects.

And after this past miserable, wet, drawn-out Pacific NorthWest winter, the sun’s rays are a welcome cure for the atrophy that seems to have settled deep down into my very bones. Yay for sun!

But the energy of summer can also be taxing. Long days coaxes me to stay up late – well past my bed time -even though I need to be up at 4:30am for my daily commute to work. And with long stretches of sun comes numerous days in a row of tackling our most physical projects. From concrete work to fence installation, exterior painting & siding to gutter work – it all piles up to be attacked during a few short months of rain-free sunny days. I’m sore just thinking about all of it!

It’s easy in all this energetic momentum to forget to stop and soak in the sights, smells and gifts of this vibrant season. And while I’ve never been much of a stop and smell the roses kind of a gal, it’s a damn shame not to find time to enjoy just the smallest of these pleasures every so often. And for me, my guilty pleasure is sweet peas.

I don’t plant many flowers. My small garden doesn’t afford the space for frivolous plants. I choose plants based on their output. Tomatoes, garlic, beets, kale and the like. I’m very practical that way. But every year I sneak in a few plants of sweet peas to climb up the trellis alongside it’s cousin, sugar snap peas. Just when the sugar snaps start producing their first real crop of peas, the sweet peas start to unfurl their gauzy, fairy-like flowers. Heady perfume emanates from the ethereal blossoms and even though I may be sun-parched and dusty from work, the flowers beckon me to come visit them. Rarely do I resist.

Sweet peas are one of those gems that can instantly uplift and transport me from the drudgery of whatever I am doing. And for that reason, they will always have a place in my garden. Because who doesn’t need a break from the cacophony of life once in a while!

What is your sweet pea?