The Sweet Pea Sowing Season
Saturday has come round again. This time of year is the time when the sweet pea can be sown. The town of Wem where they were developed was the district "county town" for North Shropshire. This was the district that I lived in at the time when I was carrying out the agricultural research phase of my career. This is an incredibly rural area much like West Suffolk. Shropshire at that time was billing itself as the undiscovered county. I would say still that most people of any age would be hard put to state where Shropshire is on a map.
I remember when I was younger Sweet Peas were one of the plants that my maternal grandfather always grew. After a career in the Customs Service chasing gold smugglers around Bombay (Mumbai now) he arrived in this country in 1955, along with my grandmother and mother, the elder children were already here joining the Royal Navy and doing other things. This was a few months before the Suez Canal, through which they passed, was closed to shipping. A little reminiscent of times of today.
I say arrived because he was part of that generation that had been involved the British Empire. Born in what is modern day Pakistan from an Irish family who supervised building the Railways he married my grandmother in 1931 who herself was from an ex-pat family and born in Simla. Her mother was the Governor of the Women's Prison in Lahore. After arriving in the Port of London he took up the post at the BBC News department that he came to England for rather going to Australia, where many of my relatives ended up after Indian Independence. After retiring at the age of 70 with his house paid off within fifteen years he then set about gardening for the next nearly 30 years or so before passing at the, we usually say now, grand old age of 99. A pretty full and eventful life life even by today's standards of global society.
Visits when I was a child from my grandparents often included a trip Robert and Sons in Sturmer, the same place that I blogged about nearly three weeks ago, Sweat Pea plants were bought and then taken back to their house in Ponders End. So with a view to continuing my own gardening career, although being born in 1966 I have a long way to go before officially retiring (sorry there is no retirement age anymore for those of my age), I have some of Mr Fothergill's of Newmarket seed. So today is sowing day to produce the plants to produce that traditional cottage garden effect and to enhance my sense of Wellbeing which I have to say 2 weeks into a running my own business is starting to be high.