The Name of the Rose

Years ago, while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my partner and I made the acquaintance of a gentleman who was considered throughout the neighborhood to be a gardener of some skill. When we finally received an invitation to venture past the ten-foot privacy fencing into his little slice of paradise, we jumped at the chance to see what a Florida garden was supposed to look like.

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Not quite lost in the weeds

I’ve started soaking Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) seeds that I saved from last year’s garden, in preparation for planting in this year’s flower beds.

The seeds are hard and dry after a winter spent in a zip-lok bag in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator, and a day or two in warm water will increase the likelihood of germination. I’ve built a sort of bamboo trellis that will support the vines when they begin to grow; I still have to come up with a system to protect them from the neighbor’s chickens, who dig relentlessly in any disturbed soil, without much concern for what I may have planted there.

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