Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Lupins and Early Light

I can never walk past a stand of lupins without thinking of the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch in which a bumbling highwayman named Dennis Moore (played by John Cleese) steals lupins from the rich and tries to give them to the local peasantry. Alas, Moore's efforts are met with derision by those he is trying to hand his purloined florals to, and they demand other things like Titian paintings, Venetian silver and art glass.

This morning's lupins used to live in the abandoned garden behind a small brick bungalow in the village. The elderly woman who lived in the little house had a wonderful garden surrounded by fences and high hedgerows, and it could not be seen from the street.  The enclosure always reminded me of the secret garden in Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. There were fruit trees, blackberries and hawthorns, antique lupins in blue, purple, pink and cream, daisies, coneflowers, cornflowers, old roses, phlox, peonies and hostas. The place was full of songbirds and bumbles in summer, and it was an oasis of serenity. I loved visiting.

My friend moved into an assisted living community some time ago, and her dear little brick house was listed for sale, its enchanted garden bulldozed by a local developer in an orgy of destruction. Now she has passed away, and her fabulous creation is a thing of the past. The property will be filled with townhouses in the near future, and no trees, gardens and green space will remain. There will be nary a hint that once a magical space existed here.

When I remember Sadie, I feel a little blue. A few of her plants now have homes in my own garden, and I think of her whenever I tend her children. What is remembered lives.

3 comments:

Barbara R. said...

It is good that they return each spring, reminding you of your friend, and her wonderful garden. I've never seen them growing, and they are certainly beautiful.

Debbie Grace said...

Sadie sounds like a wonderful neighbor. Sending much love to you this day. 💜

christinalfrutiger said...

Oh this makes me so sad! I see this all the time and it is truly heartbreaking. I am so glad you were able to rescue some of her beautiful plants and she will live on through them.