My youngest child, my third-born and final baby is 15 today. Fifteen…

A couple of years ago her birthday fell on a Monday and I picked thirteen flowers for a Monday vase to celebrate her day. This morning, what with the sunshine and a lull in the raging winds, I decided to see if I could find 15 flowers in the garden to mark the occasion. I cheated slightly – there are two primroses but they are different colours. From left to right above, they are:

Narcissus ‘Carlton’
Narcissus ‘February Gold’
Narcissus ‘Tete-a-tete’
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (Honeywort)
Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold)
Calendula officinalis ‘Sunset buff’
Muscari (Grape hyacinth)
Lamium (Dead nettle; wild flower)
Pulmonaria officinalis (Common lungwort)
Primula vulgaris (yellow)
Primula vulgaris (pink)
Osteospermum (African daisy)
Hellebore orientalis (Lenten rose)
Geum rivale (Water avens)
Narcissus ‘Red Devon’

My darling girl, all arms and legs, fizzing with energy and a zest for life, is fast becoming a young woman. She’s 5’8″ to my 5’5″. She fits into my going-out dresses that I’ve been saving in the hope that she’ll one day like to wear them (I can barely squeeze into them these days and I rarely go out). She has long dark hair and a gorgeous smile and, happily for her dad, she’s dismissive of all boys because she has two brothers and she knows what they’re like. No one has so far impressed her. She is fiercely loyal and has a deep sense of justice. She loves music and dancing and her friends and avocado and cake (not all together). She is ridiculously over-enthusiastic about random things in that way that only teenage girls are. She’s a great mimic and is good at languages, numbers and science. She’d love to be a doctor but she can’t stand the sight of blood. She’s completely in touch with her emotions and cries easily; there’s no bottling it up with her. She is often incredibly anxious about new situations, school work and exams and travelling. She’s loving and caring and kind but she knows which buttons to press to wind her brothers up into a fury. Her room is the untidiest in the house – she leaves wet towels on the floor, banana skins on her desk and never puts her clothes away. She and I have that unfortunate clash of female hormones (menstrual and menopausal) and we occasionally fall out but it never lasts long. She’s my daughter and I love her with all my heart.

My three seven years ago when they were 8, 10 and 12. They’d be mortified if I showed photos of them as they are now!

21 thoughts on “Fifteen

  1. Happy, happy birthday Harriett. Hope you have a wonderful 15th birthday. Go celebrate with your family and friends. G&Gxx


  2. What a beautiful birthday post, a true tribute to your daughter – she’ll be in (happy) tears when she reads this one day in the future. Happy Birthday!

    P.S. Thanks for your email, I’ll reply as soon as my head stops spinning from work xx


  3. Oh Sam, what a lovely post! I felt quite teary reading it. And you are such a whizz at finding perfect flowers. Can’t believe you’ve got honeywort flowering! Happy birthday to your lovely girl xx


  4. What a lovely post. I hope she has a very happy birthday. My eldest is 15, but no doubt the youngest will be too in the blink of an eye. Your youngest sounds like a wonderful person, and the photo of her with her brothers is very sweet. CJ xx


  5. That’s pretty sweet. Brent , my colleague in Southern California, has a tradition of planting birthday trees for his birthday. It started with thirty trees for his thirtieth birthday, but is not up to fifty. The trees are street trees, and some go into medians and parks.


  6. How lovely – belated happy birthday to your girl! It is truly a delight to have a daughter. My girl was 25 just a few days after your daughter’s birthday. 25 years of joy.
    Off into the garden now to see what flowers I can muster up here in the north of Scotland – certainly won’t be as many as you!


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