I haven’t had the guts to take the pea sticks down. We’ve by no means had them up this lengthy. We have a tendency to love the outdated yr tidied away earlier than the arrival of the brand new.
It was the nasturtiums that did it. In every single place, tendrils are nonetheless feeling for area and someplace new to grip. I at all times scatter-sow them across the pea poles in late summer season, although they self-seed there anyway. It’s a dash between the morning glory and the nasturtiums. The primary are at all times quickest, however the nasturtiums are longer-lasting, simpler.
Quickly the poles are lined in leaf, then the beacon-like flower, although this yr I splurged at Plants of Distinction and widened the color repertoire. There’s a yellow with a variegated leaf smothering the bottom, protecting patches in the midst of the plot.
There are flowers in reds and rusts, some noticed lotions and the basic climbing orange, this final from Higgledy Garden seed. Largely by now the winter frost could have overwhelmed them again. Pallid, exhausted creepers would grasp limply from the poles, extravagant strands lastly admitting defeat. The saddest face of the gradual finish of summer season.
Besides 2020 was, after all, an odd yr. It has been principally frost-free in London. Even right here, excessive on the prime of the Heath, there’s solely an occasional crunch to the grass, a number of bejewelled leaves. In additional mist than ice, the nasturtiums scattered via the location, clambering over partitions, colonising vines, conquering apple bushes.
It appears this winter the primary flower I grew could outlast the roses, the Tuscan calendula, even the cussed ruby amaranth, the drained tagetes. They’re nonetheless hanging on to the poles and valuable life. And whereas the nasturtiums grasp on, then we’ll too. The winter plot holds a late summer season form. The peas sticks keep.
Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Property, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com