I’ve discovered, by accident, the magical effect of a sunset on sweet peas. It turns them into mini “stained glass” windows.
Picking them at 9pm, I suddenly find it’s too dark to take photos. Nights are rapidly drawing in. Mid-summer lulls you into a relaxed state of mind. Surely there will always be time to meander round the garden. Then, quite soon after the solstice, everything changes. There’s no streetlights here; dusk means picking your way through tall corridors of dark trees, along grassy paths, past the horseshoe wildlife pond. If you are lucky, you’re accompanied by a barn owl, sweeping along the hedge in eerie silence. You’ll marvel how such a large bird can ever catch any prey without being seen. But they make not the slightest sound and pass by like a shadow. If they see you, they don’t panic and madly swerve as some birds would. They barely acknowledge your intrusion, calmly changing direction and floating over the hedge to continue on the other side. They seem not to flap their wings, but soar and glide as if carried by the wind.
Our boundaries are made from farm posts and galvanised pig wire. We like to keep a connection with the surrounding fields. After all, our garden was once part of the farmland. We’ve simply borrowed the ground to grow fruit and flowers.
There are 10 beds, 1.3m wide by 3m long, divided by narrow slab paths. This year it’s a muddle of potatoes, broadbeans, Sweet williams, daisies and verbascum. A rickety A-frame of hazel rods runs through the centre, for sweet peas. This year I’m growing a combination of heritage types from Easton Walled garden and Higgledy Garden, and new varieties on trial from Mr Fothergills.
Amethyst and rubies; sweet pea flowers shine like jewels in the sunset.
My flowers are being sold at Six Acre Nursery, Costock, Leicestershire, with all proceeds going to Rainbows Hospice for children and young people. I am a voluntary fund-raising ambassador for Rainbows, and I also give slide shows and talks to garden groups for charity.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peaceful walk around my garden at dusk. There’s much to see, even in the gloom.
Links : Cathy In a Vase on Monday : https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2019/07/15/in-a-vase-on-monday-think-pink/
Easton Walled Gardens : https://www.visiteaston.co.uk/
Higgledy Garden Seeds. https://higgledygarden.com/
Mr Fothergill’s Seeds https://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/Flower-Seed/Sweet-Pea-Seed/
Barn Owl Trust https://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/barn-owl-facts/
Notes: Most birds make a flapping, swooping sound when they fly. Owls have special edges to the front of the wing that breaks the air into small streams of wind that rolls to the end of the wing. Comb-like feathers further break down the air into even more smaller streams to create almost silent flight.