Saturday, July 20, 2019
I have definitely stepped into another world. Yesterday, the high temperature in London was 69º F, a far cry from the miserable heat of a Florida summer. I actually had to put on a sweatshirt because I was cold. Mind-blowing!
I'm wrestling with jet-lag. I stayed awake through the day yesterday, although I struggled as evening wore on. I tried to stay busy with laundry and cleaning and other little tasks, which kept me from nodding off, and finally went to bed at about 9:30 p.m. And then I had trouble falling asleep -- go figure! I lay there feeling overtired and guilty for living so far from my 82-year-old mom, and after about an hour I dropped off and was unconscious all night until now. I'm still a little sleep-dazed.
When I got home yesterday, Dave couldn't wait to show me the garden. Everything looks almost insanely lush out there. The butterfly bushes are huge, the globe thistles are full of golf-ball-sized flowers, the inulas are as tall as me. The dahlias I grew from seed have lots of flowers and are big, healthy bushes. And the orange cosmos, which I hadn't seen yet, are blooming (above). Remember those two pathetic seedlings?
When I was in Florida, Dave sent me a picture of a beautiful deep pink flower blooming near our back door. We couldn't figure out what it was -- he thought it came up from our wildflower seeds. But I realized at 4 a.m. one morning (for some reason) that it's a hollyhock, one that he'd bought on a whim and we planted and then forgot about. Sad when you can't even remember what you've put in the ground.
When I was at Mom's I found some old pictures -- she has hundreds in envelopes in her closet, and she doesn't look at them, so she gave a few to me. This one shows me in the garden behind our rented house in Maryland in 1969, the year my dad was finishing his Ph.D. at the university there. I was 2 1/2 and obsessed with "watewing" the plants (pronounce it like "watering" but with a w sound). Don't you love my wellies? I wish I had those now. Well, a bigger version.
We drove to California that year to visit my dad's family, and I apparently threw a conniption in some little town in Indiana when I saw wilting plants in the median of a roadway. I wanted to get out and water them. I don't remember this, of course, but I've heard the story many times.
I also used to nurture my inner gardener at my great-grandmother's house in Avon Park, Florida. My brother and I would pick flowers in her semi-tropical yard -- hibiscus, bleeding heart (clerodendrum) and others. I know there's a picture somewhere of us standing next to her holding our bouquets, but I couldn't find it on this trip. So, yeah, I've been plant-aware a long time!