|Meconopsis 'Lingholm' - Gardening Scotland 2001|
So, we've lost Mr Flowers (again), this time he's wandered off to another continent without me, quite rude if you ask me. He's just called from Atlanta enroute to Panama City, he calls it work. I call it losing your direction, its hardly on the way to Kirkwall is it? Maybe he's off to see LinneW? Whilst he's AWOL, I've been indulging myself in a little plant photo action. I love plants, but we know that don't we. I think thats a Protea which I love as I think they look like sea anemones - but classic me, unlabelled photo - thats hardly handy is it?
|Probably a protea.........Eden Project 2001|
Anyway having a wee bit of time on my hands I've been racking through the old photos. Not in an album you understand - on my computer. So, dear hearts I've been drawdling doon memory lane, having a peek at various albums - what fun. Flowers I'm remeniscing about you understand, not people. From the days when I not only loved gardening and botany, but in times when the wind was not a fiend and allowed me to grow some rather fine ones.
|Iris wilsonii - Fife open garden day 2004|
|Hymneocallis sp. Eden, 2001|
From the Botanics in Edinburgh, to the Eden Project, Ireland to Belize, then up again to Shetland - I found a lot of photos of us gadding about having fun. I had to look hard for photos of children in these. I appear to have forgotten to take (m)any of the children or any other humans to be fair. And, I really looked hard. Maybe I didn't forget to take them, maybe someones stolen the photos of non-botanical items, like children.
|Zantedeschia aethiopica - Eden Project 2001|
And, what did I find???? Did I find a myriad of family history and lots of cute pictures of the children............um no,........recycled pots and ideas for growing mabye........children.........um
|Excellent recycing of tubs for propagating in Ardnacaraig, Galloway 2002|
Nope, a few but not many - my camera works best with chloroplasted beasts it would appear!
I found precisely tens of thousands of botanical photographs and gardens, with a few pictures of children in between these, being dragged from pillar to post from island to island and garden to garden. Looking at everything from recycled tubs to Aurucaria trunks with gay abandon! Bad mother!
|Aurucaria trunk, in a 'monkey puzzle' plantation in JFK auboriteum, Ireland 2002|
Mother of the year award, I think not. However, I do appear to have a cracking botanical library, so clearly that was worth their sacrifice wasn't it.
|Helebores in Butterstream, 2005|
OK, so we might have had a good few adventures a long the way. I can't really deny that. I reckon it was character building and they love the botanics in Edinburgh as much as I do, but probably for different reasons, they grew up there, whilst I was snapping away. And we did get to a few good locations on the way to the gardens.........even if some of us did look a bit fed up at our exhibit at Gardening Scotland...........(Silver Gilt we got too.......)
|Gardening Scotland, 2001 - the textural garden, the cellist to be, doesn't look impressed does she?|
However, they've survived all those, lets pop to this garden and have a look at whats flowering today. It helped to hone my photography skills, whilst identifying the plants they REALLY shouldn't eat.......and why fungi really aren't plants, but we pretend that they are even though they're closer related to animals than plants (do you think vegetarians mind than mushrooms aren't plants OR animals?). The kids know there are five kingdoms......thats all I care about! And what are they again children.........Protista (the single-celled eukaryotes); Plantae (the plants); Fungi (fungus and related organisms); Animalia (the animals); Monera (the prokaryotes). Clever children to remember that!
|Cellist to be happy to be done with a garden visit for the day!|
|Old man of Hoy, Orkney 2003|
|And, the odd plod along the beach with the dogs - in our wellies of course|
As to my two fair charges, how much has my gardening and botanical obsession changed them? Both have denounced gardening (far too hard work), although both enjoy a good adventure to a new place. Well, we'll see. One's off to university soon to do a course not disimilar to my own - and might end up like me off adverturing, um I mean working, on tiny islands like Shetland, looking for Edumnstons chickweed, in serpentine moonscapes...... and to be fair none of us would have gone to Unst in Shetland, unless on a plant collecting trip!
|Cerastium nigrescens - a beautiful rare little chickweed in Shetland. Plant collecting trip 2003|
We do all still walk and enjoy a natter. OK the walks are now largely 'non-negotionable' for them - no walking=no electricity at home if they don't comply. Its a harsh but simple approach to parenting, which I find works for me best. They largely sing loudly now, when I try and point out a plant, but I guess that's to be expected. They know how many photos I have of plants rather than them. And how many plant collecting/botanising/garden spying trips I've done with and without them.........Its always fun and never hard work.......honest.
|Plant collecting in Unst, 2004 - its work, honest, work I tell you!|
But, each to their own eh?
Therefore on mothering and gardening I reckon what doesn't kill them of boredom or physical hard labour, or botanical boring to death, or neglect or improvised BBQ teas, makes them stronger. Don't you.
Well everyone's still here, healthy and happy - both kids appear to consider 'doing what you love' to be a top priority in life. So, I guess thats a lesson I can say I passed on. OK, they might hate flowers now, but hey ho - they've found something THEY are passionate about (geography for one, music for the other). And, they know to take the time to appreicate the details in life, even if they are thorny. And note the name of the plant as you take the photo, or a legible picture of a label, as you'll never remember it!
Anyhow - I've backed up the botanical pics of old, just in case they realise they're only in the libraries on a 1:1000 ratio and take it out on the flowers. Flowers are much easier to take photos of than children. They don't move as much........that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.