Daffodils, Past, And At Holehird Gardens

My picture today is another one for dreaming over for those who have the power to sit down here in their minds and spend a moment enjoying the spring flowers, the view and the fresh air.

Bench among daffodils facing towards distant mountains
Looking out from Holehird Gardens in the English Lake District

In England it is Mothering Sunday and we’ve been urged not to go out and visit our mothers, especially those who are older and self-isolating.

My mum loves to go out and be social – she is vibrant and still actively contributing to her community at the age of 84. When the news broke advising her to stop going out I wondered how she would take it, fearing she would be very unhappy confined at home.

Statistically she is in some danger and she’s fully aware of that. Seeing her calm face on Skype I understand more of the reality of what she lived through as a child during the last world war. Carried down to try to sleep in an air raid shelter her dad had dug in the garden. Sharing a few sausages as the meat ration for a family (she’s going to say “It was a sausage and a half”). Did they have soap then or plenty of toilet paper? I’ve never asked her.

Today, she is head governor of her local nursery (rated ‘outstanding’) and chair of a neighbouring town’s choral society. Shortly after the instructions went out, I interrupted her in the middle of helping to sort out the society’s obligations caused by their cancelling a concert that had been due to take place the day before.

Fussing, I reminded her not to sit in one place for too long, so far as she could. She said she’d been busy, so hadn’t had chance to sit down for long so far that day (it was nearly lunch time).

She really is a marvel.

As we talked, she gave me a wartime soap bar tip and I’m passing it along here: as soon as you get soap home, remove its packaging and leave it to dry out in the cupboard. It will harden as it dries and that will make it last longer when it’s time to use it.

I’m sharing this picture today because when Mum and I have visited Holehird Garden where it was taken, she has spent some time sitting in this seat, waiting for me to finish running around taking ‘one more’ picture.

And because as children, decades ago on this day, we lined up at church to receive our allocation of daffodil buds from a bucket to give to our mothers. I can still feel the stems clutched limp in my hand as we walked home down the hill, acutely aware of them as treasure.

This year I’m sending virtual daffodils. I love you, Mum. Keep safe!

I know she’ll be happy to share this post, especially with mums and children who can’t be together for any reason.

39 Replies to “Daffodils, Past, And At Holehird Gardens”

  1. Oh, I was brought up with that soap tip too, and my airing cupboard always has a supply (‘stockpiling’, I hear you say), so that the soap we use is about six months old when it comes into use. We should have been over your way today, spending the day with elder daughter. ‘Twas not to be. I hope your mum – all of you in fact – stay safe and well.

    1. Thanks, Margaret and the same to you and yours. I’m sorry you missed your family get together – the weather was beautiful too.

      You’ve reminded me that when we were kids, Mum had a source for mail order soap seconds and now and again a big brown box full arrived. They were misshapes, soft colours and non-too subtle scents. My sister and I used to lay them out and play Shops with them.

  2. I unwrap my soap, too. 🙂 I find myself lately wishing I had an elder to ask about survival during tough times, but alas, all mine have passed. Raised during the Great Depression and involved in WWII, they went through a lot.
    Take care, and best wishes to all the mums out there!

    1. I’m sorry they have passed, but I’d guess those elders left a lot behind in you. I very much associate you with wisdom, and the kind of casting about you’re doing now is a sign of that.

  3. It’s hard to know which has the better view: the daffodils of the hills, or the hills of the daffodils. But it’s the purples that pull me in, both in the petals (iris?) and in the hill shadows. Yes, I sat down there; the hills especially brought my own mother to mind — love of hills was in her blood. Your description of your mother fits my imagining of her, and I think by introducing her to us you have given her quite a full Mothering Day. Think of us all over the world waving a big HELLO!

    1. She’ll be very grateful and no doubt has been waving a big hello back! The rich purple flowers are crocuses. I’m glad your mother’s presence was with you as you contemplated the hills.

  4. Thanks for sharing family memories…and the hope that we can get through more tough times. I sat on that bench too, in July 2012, and treasure the links of friendship between gardeners. Best wishes to you and your mum. 🌺

    1. Your comment really made me smile. I was not surprised, as this is one well placed bench! I always think of you when I visit Holehird or post about it as I know you love the place. Sending my best wishes to you and yours in return.

  5. I was hoping to get up that way this year, but it is looking less likely now. But oh, what a view! That is definitely a bench with a view! And thank you for the lovely flowers. 😍

    1. My pleasure. I hope the garden will be all the sweeter when you eventually get there.
      I am planning a textures post for this week – all the pictures are gathered together.

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