Saturday, 30 July 2016

Stop & smell the roses...

A few years ago rather unexpectedly, my paternal grandmother died. I didn’t get to see her and my Grandad as often as I saw my maternal Grandparents as they lived in Scotland, when they came to visit it was a cause of great excitement. Often on their visit we would go to the local garden centre, where Granny with her wealth of knowledge would help Mammy chose plants and flowers for our garden.

She knew so much about the plants, their name, how to look after them, what little critters loved or tormented them and where would be best to plant them. I can always remember Granny out in the back garden plucking the dead petals off the plants and loosening the soil in the plant pots ensuring the best conditions for growth. I also remember one particular time Granny telling us about the little robin that came and sat on the top of her shovel, unstartled as she pottered about in her garden. 

Since she died I have begun to notice that I think of her or rather am reminded of her when I pass flourishing gardens or watch my mother planting new bulbs and seeds in our garden, often remarking on the fact that Granny would know what would be best for the new addition to the garden. It’s wonderful that in the beauty all around me I’m reminded of my granny and I smile as memories of her flicker through my head.

In May this year my maternal Grandfather died...

Just outside the window in the room he spent the last few days of his life there was a wonderfully vibrant azalea in full bloom, better than it had for years my granny noted. For as long as I can remember the azalea and hydrangea in Granny and Grandad’s garden has come into bloom for several weeks of each year, despite being planted over 50 years ago by my Grandad. 

The soft lilac and dusky blue of the hydrangeas as we pulled into the drive has always been a symbol of being at Granny and Grandad’s for our weekly cup of tea and a bun (or rather more than one bun, as we were "In our Granny’s"). The lawn at the front was always out of bounds when we were younger and outside playing in their garden. It was a perfectly manicured lawn, or so Grandad tried to make it, the weeds were rather persistent. 

Another poignant reminder of Grandad are the roses that he planted in the garden. I had never really noticed them until after Grandad died and Granny had got the gardener in to tidy up the flower bed where the roses were as Grandad would have liked. 

Again as with my Granny from Scotland, I am constantly called to stop and remember Grandad when I see roses and hydrangeas as I go about my day to day life. I love that it is beautiful, happy things that remind me of my Grandparents and that from the sight of these flowers I recall many happy memories I will cherish forever.


(All photos of flowers are taken by me in my Grandad's garden)

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