Up, Up and Away!


I take pea planting pretty seriously. They are one of the first seeds you canĀ  put in the ground, they germinate fairly quickly and yield one of my favorite fresh, off-the-vine experiences.

Since we’ve moved into our house we have relied on scraps, dead tree limbs–okay, crap–to erect a pea trellis. Most years the sugar snap peas, which grow 5-6 feet, crawl to the top of the trellis, shout a quick What The Hell? and then fall limply back to the earth.

Looks a bit Pirates of the Caribbean, no?

Looks a bit Pirates of the Caribbean, no?

I have had visions of a proper pea trellis for years.

Guess what?! If you can grow your partner a whole human being, he will likely try to make all your gardening dreams come true. (But to be fair, my partner in crime has been bringing my crazy gardening dreams to life since 2008, sans any gestation on my part. Perhaps he knows that he owes me that much?)

Two weeks ago I said, “Honey! I’d like an arched pea trellis. Out of chicken wire. Between two beds. And it’s time to plant the peas. Like last week!” Close mouth. Smile. Smile. Smile. Rub the baby belly to remind him of my 9-month task.

And of course, because he is the brains and the engineer and the one who actually executes shit around here, he had all kinds of questions and points of clarification and realistic expectations to rain on my pea trellis. (Well, sure honey, all the chicken wire is coated in toxic zinc which will likely enter our food steam and thus body and probably kill us, but won’t the trellis look awesome? And that is where I picture an arch of blooming pea flowers and green pods hanging like candy ready to be eaten fresh–toxic–from the vine.)

The Home Depot trip takes three times longer than expected (why I don’t expect this now is beyond me) because we (he) compares everything and ends up finding some wire that works 100 times better at a fraction of the cost. (This is why he is the executor.)

One evening after work, we erected our pea trellis. I am happy to say that unlike years past, this one does not involve bailing twine, dead tree limbs or resemble a pirate ship. It’s embarrassing how delighted–nay, excited (there’s that word you all want me to use!)–this trellis makes me. Giddy with anticipation.

Pea trellis

The peas are on the same gestation plan I am, methinks: t minus a week or so till sprouting. I can picture me drinking my first glass of long-awaited chardonnay, with a little critter wrapped up closely to my chest, under the flowery blossoms of pea shoots.

In my visions, the peas are prolific and smell so good that I don’t even notice the soiled diaper.

High Theft

This is my mother-in-law. She is a thief.

I am her accomplice.

Prior to her ten-day visit, I plucked–and really, pruned, they should thank me–bits of blooms from the neighborhood. I did this out on walks. N would shake his head in shame and pretend not to notice. Hide behind an azalea bush.

But his mother. OH! His mother! She is a voracious bloom thief and plucked every shade of lilac, both kinds of heather, several bleeding hearts, and god knows what when I wasn’t home. Between the two of us, the house looked like a nursery.

I had planned on taking a quick walk this evening to capture that spring slant of seven o’clock sun. But the clouds. They have the final say around these parts. Instead, I found myself eyeing all that would make a good everyday bouquet: flowering kale, lilac, wisteria, golden chain tree branches. Is it wrong to get as excited over my neighbors’ yards as I do mine? I promise to not pluck their first and only iris.

Or the first peach-fuzzed poppy head.

In exchange for the fruits of their labor, they can have some of mine:

Will these guys make it all the way to fall? Our first pear crop from our 5-way pear tree wedding gift. Plenty to go around the block.

And I might be able to spare one or two of these guys:

I know Valerie Easton’s subtitle is Bouquets From Your Garden, but no one household can use all that wisteria. Maybe I’ll just leave a mason jar bouquet on each porch from whose yard I pluck. How can you shake a finger at a girl delivering spring in a jelly jar?