Fifteen

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!

Delighting in the details

After the crazy count-down to the Garden Safari last weekend it was lovely to ease off the pressure this past week and enjoy the garden. It was too hot by mid-week to do anything remotely energetic anyway. I restricted myself to a little weeding and deadheading and generally wandering about looking – properly looking – at the beautiful colours and forms.

Diascia planted around the base of a little olive tree with Panicum elegans 'Frosted Explosion'. The diascia was an emergency purchase from the bargain shelf at B&Q. It was very sad and past it's best. Fed, watered, trimmed and planted and a it's now looking lovely.
Diascia planted around the base of a little olive tree in a large container with the annual grass  Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’. The diascia was an emergency purchase from the bargain shelf at B&Q. It was very sad and tatty but we fed, watered, trimmed and planted it out and it’s now looking lovely.
Allium cristophii
Allium cristophii has taken over from Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ as the star plant.
Our sweetpeas (bought as plug plants and planted in early May) are just starting to flower.
Our sweetpeas (bought as plug plants and planted out in mid-May) are just starting to flower. It’s probably my favourite scent in the garden. Delicious.
Thyme flowers.
Thyme flowers.
Sunlight through hardy geranium leaves.
Sunlight through hardy geranium leaves.

 

Panicum elegans 'Frosted Explosion'. We've grown this from seed and had over 50 plants from a packet so we've dotted it about everywhere!
More Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’. We grew this from seed and had well over 50 plants from a packet so we’ve dotted it about everywhere!
Each time I go to the beach, I come home with a pebble or two in my pocket. There's something about a warm, smooth stone in your hand.
Each time I go to the beach, I come home with a pebble or two in my pocket. There’s something about a warm, smooth stone in your hand.
The love-in-the-mist (Nigella) is setting seed. I like the seedpods as much as the flowers.
The love-in-the-mist (Nigella) is setting seed. I think the seedpods are as beautiful as the flowers.

 

In other news… Both boys went off to Hampshire on Saturday for a week at a CCF (Combined Cadet Force) summer camp. They’re kayaking, climbing, marching, throwing themselves around assault courses and taking part in an overnight exercise which they assure me is all great fun. It’s organised through their school, so it’s a week away all fully approved and they won’t be missing much. I am missing them very much though.

My daughter, who is not used to being the only child and doesn’t particularly like it, has her ‘moving-up’ day on Thursday. She’ll spend the day at secondary school and generally experience a taste of how it’s going to be. Her brothers won’t be there, of course, but that’s probably a good thing.

I am feeling the passing of time acutely at the moment and I’m trying to remember to take stock and enjoy as much of it as possible. Have a good week and I hope you get time to savour your moments too.