Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nettles and a rude picture

To continue my ill-informed-gardener posting, here's a 2006 picture of my yellow nettles, which I now think are called lamium. Do click to enlarge, should you actually care one way or the other. I rooted most of them out but they're making a return. Garden thugs, I fear, though pretty.

I've decided the white and yellow Marguerites are Shasta daisies - thank you for confirming this, Persiflage. I don't know why Shasta should have a capital, but it seems to have*. Marguerites - well, it's a girl's name, so I kind of feel a capital is in order; but then do I write about Daisies?
*My brother has just emailed me to say:
A lot of daisies which are drought resistant grow naturally in California including Shasta daisies, which I think are probably named after Mount Shasta, a rather spectacular volcanic mountain in the north of the state. Many of the Californian hills are so thickly covered in flowers in the spring that they look blue or orange from a distance. The orange ones are Californian poppies.Shasta daisies have a rather pungent smell that attracts flies, or at least Californian flies.

He's my big brother. He knows stuff. He also used to live in California.

Coreopsis, I think. Also rampant, though they lull you into a false sense of security by just sitting there for a few years. Mine will be turning up in Devon shortly, at the rate they're spreading. Australia may not be safe. Watch where you put your garden chair.

Yesterday I decided to tidy out the drawers of the chest in the study in which I keep sentimental archives. My filing system consists of putting things on the top layer in the drawers and shutting them. I hoped that some of them might have lost their sentimental value and I might be able to throw things out and thus allow myself to add further things and still get the drawers shut. I didn't, however, expect that this would be the case. It wasn't.

For example, above you will see a card made for Mr Life by Daughter 1 when she was little. It shows Mr Life sitting up in bed (these are bedside chests to either side of him) on Father's Day. The back of the card shows him on his bike, waving rather camply, possibly because he has only one leg.

Inside she has written:

My Dad

He is nice,

He is fun.

I like him very much.

He is keen on steam trains.

He likes tennants lager.

But he doesn't smoke.

He's tall and thin.

He's a lot taller than mummy.

He is allergic to citrus fruits of all kinds.

He has sugar or sweetner in his coffee.

He loves breakfast in bed.

He's very nice and picks me up sometimes.

I love him.

Well, I can't throw that away, can I? Especially since it tells us all about his drinking (this is a once-a-month habit, let me reassure you) and the fact that he used to be thin.

Then there's this. Inside it says

My Mother's Day wish

Dear Mummy,

My Mother's Day wish is for you to have a hole day in bed with your meals brot up to you and (Daughter 1) and (Son) and I to give you love and care when ever you wontied it. And your bedclouthes made of silk.

Love from (Daughter 2)

Not sure I ever got the silk bedclouthes, but still - aaaahhh. And the spelling's a bit wonky but look at those apostrophes!

And then this one, from the Son. Aahh again. (He used to call me Mim sometimes.)

M is for Mummy

I is for I love you

M is for, more than a lot, tons

Love from (Son)

The whole drawerful consists of this sort of thing that I can't possibly part with. So when I die, the poor offspring will have to decide what to do with it. Sorry, offspring.

Then there was the day when little Son said to me, "Mummy, I've drawn a rude picture."

I hastened, horrified, to see what he'd depicted.

Not that bad, really.


  1. Anonymous12:05 pm

    Terribly rude, indeed!

  2. Awwww, you've brought a smile to my face, and a bit of a tear to my eye. Such sweet cards! So happy to see that Mr. Life has conquered his drinking habit LOL.

    When work is over today, I shall sit in my garden and wait for your spreading coreopsis to arrive!

  3. I love that rude picture. Alas I think I have very few relics of my children's art from years past.
    I am still puzzled by your nettle plants, and never having grown coreopsis I can/t tell, but mt picture shows the petal edges as a bit wavy, and the centres opening bit by bit. Vague descriptions, eh.

  4. Prettiest nettles I ever saw. I bet they don't even sting the way the ones we had did when I was a child.... Poor Mr. Life! He'll be mourning the loss of his hair, his waist and his youth when he reads this. Not to worry though, we know that he still has his smile! Interesting about the one-leggedness---I don't believe you've ever mentioned that before.....

  5. Oh, how delightful! Of course you can't throw anything away from such a treasure trove!

    My son once made me a badge for my birthday. It read "I am dead old. Please give generously".

  6. Love the cards:-) I have to admit that over time I've I have tidied up and got rid of the cards, now they are getting replaced by cards and notes from grandkids (which I'm keeping).

    Thought I would share this weith you, my sister in law's little grand daughter described her nana in a card "with a face all crinkly like a brown paper bag".

  7. Lovely stuff from which you should never be parted. I'm glad you inspect the archive once in a while and enjoy its contents too.

    Lesley x

  8. I like bedclouthes of silk. Sounds very Chaucerian! You are right, you cannot throw any of those cars away.

  9. That would be carDs.

  10. I read this last night just before I went to bed: the title conjured up some bizarre imaginings!

    What dear children you have...I remember making those things for my mummy and daddy. How they love you...

    How was Adelaide???!!!

  11. oh, coreopsis is absolutely rampant over here, someone broadcast the seeds from the train windows decades ago. Its everywhere.

  12. I love all your cards I am a bit like you I keep them all its good to look through them when you are feeling down they cheer you up.
    Hugs Mary.

  13. I love the idea of rampaging daisies... trying to take over the world!

  14. You can send some of your rampant daisies up my way. They'd feel right at home - there's a regular horticultural pub brawl going on in my garden. I am actually too scared to step in with the trowel and break it up.

  15. Isabelle, you must keep those cards! I recently had a clean up and found some cards that my nephews made for us about 30 years ago. I'd forgotten all about them, but I'm so glad I didn't chuck them out. I'm quite soppy when it comes to keeping family bits and pieces; they bring back so many memories, and People Who Archive Things always tell us we should keep this kind of family memorabilia. Goodness, our Archive People are already looking for Hotmail emails to keep for some kind of permanent record so future people can see what it was all about at the beginning! I think that is a bit twee myself, but there you go. Some people might think keeping old hand made cards is twee too.

  16. I have a collection much the same. I know they-being the authors- will gasp with disbelief, that I saved them.

  17. Oh my gosh, that rude picture. I may have to report you to the blog authorities.

    In theory I htink it would be a good idea to photograph the children's cards and artwork and little notes so that it only takes up virtual and not actual space. However, my own shelves and drawers are bursting with stuff so so much for that.