Thursday, August 23, 2007

Marton Memories

Tomorrow we get the key to the Village Hall and tomorrow we make merry with display boards, pins and velcro. The working title 'Marton Memories' has been cast aside and 'Marton, the story of a Shropshire Village' opens the following day at 10.00am. All welcome. Please visit the Flower Festival at St Mark's Church, Marton, too.

I finished the mammoth task of mounting our material yesterday. Doreen has been chiefly responsible for ferreting out information - she has haunted the County Archives and cajoled anyone with a tale to tell. I have been the side-kick; Tonto to her Lone Ranger. Lewis/Morse. Something like that. We have gathered a fantastic amount of stuff - and even at the last minute it continued to pour in. 'Too late, too late' I cried, as drowning in a miasma of spray glue became a real possibility. We're both aware that there are a lot of areas left uncovered, things not done - but then, we do need something to move on to next....

Today has been the calm before the storm - R 'n R in the garden. And such a beautiful day it was too. A taste of summer at last.

At the end of the day picked the last of the peas to eat at supper. (Our veggies have been a dead loss this year - with the exception of the peas which we are still enjoying.) Alongside the edible peas are 3 wigwams of Sweet Peas, finally in bloom - probably only 6 weeks late. The air in that corner of the garden is filled with their scent.

On a whim I gather a huge bunch - they need picking to keep flowering I believe. I have fond memories of Sweet Peas in my childhood home. The same pastel colours - longer stemmed and arranged in a curious old pot - with catmint - nepetia. I still think it the perfect combination. I see them now on the glass-topped revolving bookcase that my mother put so much store by.

Sweet Peas were a favourite of my father, to be grown up canes as if for exhibition. My job was to pinch out tendrils and side shoots to encourage long stems and more blooms - if I were good I might put the rings round pea and cane. Such a responsible job for a small child. Then came the magic moment when, the plants having reached the top of the cane, they were released and brought down to lay along the ground so that the leading shoot could start up all over again. I'm not disciplined enough to do all that and my sweet peas grow sweet and higgledy-piggledy over whatever canes I've bound together. I love them so and none-the-less.

Fast-forward thirty years. We have all moved around a bit. I am now a wife and mother. My father is a widower. He still grows sweet peas. He lives in a little Yorkshire village, near Pickering. It's called Marton too. On visits to us across the Pennines he would, on arrival, pull from his bag a crumpled posy of sweet peas, picked that morning from the garden, still fragrant. For old times sake perhaps, a father's gift to his child. Because I loved them so.

Those are my other Marton memories.

11 comments:

elizabethm said...

I adore sweet peas too and my house if full of them at the moment in the hopes they will keep flowering. best of luck with your exhibition. what an amazing amount of work you have put in.

Faith said...

Lovely butterflies - I want some white buddlhia (spelling?) desperately! Also love sweet peas - Hub3 and my favourite flower - well, our flower! ours have been gorgeous this year.

Pondside said...

Lovely blog, and you saved the best for the last - beautiful story of your dad and his gift of gardening/responsibility and sweetpeas.
Best of luck with the opening!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

How beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Crystal xx

Lizzie said...

I too love sweat peas & like you, Mountainear, mine were late arrivals in the garden. In fact, I shall go right now & pick another bunch!

Lizzie x

Posie Rosie said...

Oh I love sweet peas, and what a lovely association you will always have with yours. I didn't grow any this year, thank you for sharing yours. Posie.

Wipso said...

I am fortunate enough to share wonderful memories like yours of gardening moments with a loving father. Alas mine passed away when I was only 31 but I am always aware of his guidance when I am working in his garden. I live in the house my family have lived in for 60 years and 41 of those Dad lovingly tended the 80 yard long vegetable garden so it's not surprising is it?

All Shook Up said...

Well done for growing peas... I'm still waiting for the ones I sowed in April to poke through. Any tips for getting tomatoes to turn red? What a year!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

sweet peas...my mother's favourite ... I carried a basketful of sweet peas and pink roses when I got married. I can't smell them without lovely memories of my mum!

Will be there at some time over the weekend...I shall be doing a long sit in...I HAVE to read every word!!

mutterings and meanderings said...

I hope it went off smoothly for you - I'm sure it did.

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