The garden and the O' level flower

It's sweet rocket time in the garden. This is a plant I've had about me for years. When my parents sold the house we grew up in, we took bits of quite a few plants, and this was one of them. It hasn't entirely approved of every garden I've had since then, but I've managed to keep it going, and it loves this one, seeding itself with abandon in the more shady bits. There are flowers I associate with things and times, and sweet rocket is one. It always seems to be out during May Half Term, which was when I did my intensive last minute panic revision (if I'm honest, usually the only revision I did, as getting on with things in a timely fashion wasn't one of my teenage skills). As a break in between high speed panicking, I used to wander out into the garden and smell the rocket, which is one of those flowers which smells best in the evening. Whenever I smell it, I always remember my teenage self, attempting to put right the neglect of months in a single week.

My son has A levels in a couple of weeks, and yesterday he was sitting out in the garden next to the rocket, revising. I wonder if it will have the same memory for him.

The roses are starting to come out. This dog rose sprung out of a rather nasty vivid peach HT, and I have let it go, as it seems to have completely overwhelmed the thing grafted on.

Gloire de Dijon:

Chapeau de Napoleon rose (not a brilliant photo). I bought what I thought was one of these but found out when it flowered it wasn't. This one is the real deal, and here are its amazing mossy little buds, doing their best to look like a hat.

I seem to have acquired an awful lot of geraniums over the years, and these two are particular favourites. The white one is Kashmir white; the blue one I can't remember.

Aquilegia, which is another plant that reminds me of our childhood home, as they set themselves everywhere.

Alba Maxima rose, which has only just come out.


Oh, beautiful. Your roses are much further on than mine. We have one out, and lots of buds in waiting. Funny how evocative plants can be, isn't it? I recently bought some lemon balm, which took me back to the early days of my first pregnancy, eleven years ago.
Jane Badger said…
Rachael, those were just single ones, though the Gloire de Dijon had a big spurt yesterday in the heat!

I wonder if it's the scented plants that have the biggest effect on your memory? A friend is always taken back to her childhood appendicitis when she smells lily of the valley, as her mother brought her a bunch when she visited her in hospital (in the days when you could bring flowers into hospital!)
Gillian said…
Your garden is looking lovely, Jane. I really must do a little work in the tiny patch in front of this house.
My honeysuckle is in full leaf now and I'm looking forward to the flowers, which are also one of those that smell lovely in the evening. The only thing in flower at the moment really is the lily of the valley, which flourishes here.
Jane Badger said…
Thanks Gillian - as ever I've not shown the 'orrible weedy bits! I love honeysuckle too.

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