Some plants are so companionable, it’s rare to find one growing wild without the other. Daisies, clover, dandelions and buttercups would be one example from Lancashire; nettles and blackberries, another.
While azaleas and bluebells can flower together, it’s not considered a classic pairing. They remind me of a friend who, on learning that my sweetheart and I were a couple, observed that was “a cosmic joke on the universe.”
That may seem a bit off, but he was merely saying out loud what others have thought. I was an English person (i.e. from a country where a newspaper headline can scream ‘Killer Heatwave – temperatures reach 85°F!’) visibly wilting in a pink silk dress in a Dallas garden in the afternoon sun. Wilting is the euphemism: sweating, more accurate. My sweetheart? Well, if you know him, you can insert your own description here. If not, anything I might say is inadequate. Suffice to say he’s got Mississippi mud on his boots and does not wilt at 85°.
Since then, I’ve met hundreds of people (no exaggeration) who tell me how amazing it must be to have him as a partner, and they are right. ‘Never a dull moment?’ they’ll confidently say. I generally confirm that with a smiling nod. They are wrong. We all have dull moments, but they are like leaving a space in the garden where butterflies can swoop.
I joke that my (vertical) frown lines seem a bit lighter since meeting him well over a decade ago, but have been replaced by (horizontal) astonishment lines.
There are oops! moments aplenty. He made his ‘famous home-made cinnamon toast’ today in nostalgic celebration of childhood breakfasts after warning, ‘You ain’t gonna like it’. Toasted one side only, the dozen raisins balanced on the toasted side wobbled as the plate was offered, making me smile. The recipe used similar ingredients to the pobbies and bread and butter puddings my sister and I ate as children. As so often, not a culture shock, but a culture recognition – yes, this was what it was like back then. Simpler. Sweeter.
Not quite as he remembered though, somehow, so he set out to work out what had gone wrong (‘needs more sugar, perhaps?’). Eventually he listed the ingredients out loud, and I added, ‘and cinnamon, of course?’
He put his hand to his head as recognition struck – he’d absentmindedly used ginger instead. A botanical discussion ensued about how cassia cinnamon is worse for us and harsher tasting than the true Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), punctuated with giggles about the cinnamon toast that wasn’t, but had been easily set right with a good sprinkling of cinnamon.
A cosmic joke? I’d say not, but there’s plenty of laughter.
Shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day.