Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Gardening and memories

I spent some time yesterday sorting out my coldframe.

Lesson 1, throw out the dead snails immediately. If what looks like an empty shell is actually a rotting, maggot ridden carcase, it STINKS.

Lesson 2, if my overwintered geraniums look totally dead, they probably are and won't revive with water and sunshine. And actually are but that makes much more room for other stuff.

Lesson 3, (one I will never learn) stop planting too many of everything. If you have planted 2 seeds per pot in order to throw away the weaker one. Throw it away.

Of course, there should be a picture here of productive coldframe but camera got left at the house.

Domestic day today. Him Outdoors left asking what was it you didn't want me to strim? Can't hold my breath or cross my fingers all day, perhaps the orchids; what I think is a clump of gladiolus Byzantium; the remains of a deer eaten rose and what looks like a clump of Michaelmas daisies will survive. Perhaps.

Sunny, peaceful gardening makes my mind wander. My mother died at the beginning of last year after a decade of increasing dementia. My mother-in-law died in February. Superficially, I find myself thinking 'oh must be time we rang your mum' and being brought up short. Got a reminder for her birthday........... But underlying that it has brought me a real grieving for my mother. Not the dementing one, but the person behind that. When she died the overwhelming feeling was one of relief that she didn't have to do that anymore and that she was settled back with Dad in the beautiful Suffolk churchyard.

What I miss so much suddenly is the only one that really cares about the female things. I am my mother's daughter, she has passed on to me all her domestic loves and hates. She would love the domestic details, the cake that did (or didn't) work, the plants that were special (or eaten by deer), the fact that I am sitting doing this rather than changing the sheets. She would be interested in the details of my French mammogram, the hairdresser, we would share the latest books we have read. I picked up Mrs Dalloway at a friend's house yesterday and dipped in while waiting, she would have read it and shared her opinion.  Her rural Suffolk life has so very many parallels with this rural frenchness. I miss her.


  1. Do you think that it is now that you are settled again, the house coming along so well and the garden under way that you have, in a way, recovered your mother as she was before dementia struck?

  2. Thank you Fly. She certainly seems very close at the moment.

  3. Rosie, it's 32 years since my mother died and I still miss her and want to tell her things. That mother-daughter bond can be very strong and you have so much to share that you know she would have revelled in. I'm glad it's the clear-thinking mother you're now remembering , even though you miss her so much.

  4. Thank you Perpetua. I like that it's my mum that I remember too.