Bereavement, Things my mother did for me

Weeds

Dirt is just stuff in the wrong place. Weeds are just plants in the wrong place. Context is everything.

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My Mum loved me and wanted to please me (I think). She loved gardening and bright cheerful flowers. She filled every available receptacle with colourful annuals – pansies, busy-lizzies, lobelia, alyssum, salvias, verbena, primulas, snap-dragons and begonias (I hate begonias!).

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I love wild places. When we lived together at the end of her life she had a garden and I had a paddock and a wild area. But big lolloping red tulips would pop up mysteriously amongst the wild crocuses in my natural area and brightly coloured primulas appear mysteriously in the hedgerow of the paddock. She was incorrigible! Feral cultivated hyacinths were insinuated into the bluebell wood, people would give them to her and she never could stand their smell in the house (reminded her of incontinence).

After she died we moved to a really wild place where God does nearly all the gardening and where even rhododendrons are banned. But by the kitchen door there is an old sink where I have planted primulas.

Yesterday, when I was feeding the ewes, the sun came out and I noticed the first yellow star of ranunculus on the bank and two dandelions by the shed and they lifted my spirits (we’ve had a difficult few months) and in the sink by the door, peeping out from last year’s leaf litter, like a prayer, are Mum’s primulas, bright and new.

 

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