Two flowers I have always struggled to grow successfully are poppies and sweet peas, both favourites. Finally this year I have had poppies to pick. I love them for their hardy fragility. They transform from wrinkled old age to full-faced youth (if only...!). Mine however are nowhere near as spectacular as those I used to buy from a home in suburban St Martins. Poppies en masse in a bucket at the gate. Huge, generous, blowsy bunches and a little honesty box. My mother used to grow opium poppies - more by accident than design - and was affronted one year when someone stole the lot!
Sweet peas I still struggle with, my hard-baked clay not to their liking. In compensation, my cousin Claire picks me lovely, sweet-smelling bunches from her garden. Both of us grew up in gardening (flower and vegetable) families and one of our great pleasures in middle age is sharing our garden produce.