Whatever our feelings about Saint Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to ignore. We all know we should let our sweethearts know that we love them all year round, even when they are walking mud into the house, let’s say, or leaving jam on the fridge door.
For those of us who find it hard to express our affection every day, Valentine’s Day can be a good thing. For those of us who get a sweet little extra something we appreciate, it’s a good thing. For people who sell cards, chocolates, flowers and meals, it’s definitely a good thing.
The rain has been beating down hard against the house in such rage that I went to inspect: it was a hailstorm, on the 2nd of May. My Dad, Jack Rushton, was always in tune with nature, more so than he sometimes was with people. He’d have known if the hail was unusual at this time of year or par for the course. He would have been 90 today. He died too early by any standards: my sister and I never got the chance to relate to him with truly adult minds. Of course some of his messages stay with me.
His love of plants, animals and nature placed the natural world at the centre of things. He knew that English bluebells were the delicate ones, with flowers that hung from just one side of the scape.
He helped make sure my sister and I had the kind of childhood where climbing trees, inspecting stones in streams, crossing moorland, hanging around other people’s allotments, collecting horse pooh for roses, growing plants from seeds, cramming the yard full of so many pots you could hardly wind your way through it, and dissecting owl pellets to see what they had eaten would always seem normal. Continue reading “Memories Of Dad”
This is one of my favourite rose pictures. I find it extra romantic, though it’s hard to say why. The clustering roses themselves, or the small detail of them being tied to their support? Perhaps; we don’t need poets to tell us that love binds where it frees. The leafy, bower-like setting helps and the pensive, shadowy statue in the background is casting her influence too. She seems to be waiting for someone rather than just admiring the view. Continue reading “Romance, Roses And Twelfth Night”
An alluring new Agapanthus claimed my attention at one of the UK flower shows earlier this year, even though it was almost buried in a sea of other cultivars. The subtle lilac and pink streaks along the backs of the petals and on the petal tips created a luminous, ethereal effect against the pure white.