Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I remember - or do I?

Do you remember that second verse of the Thomas Hood poem?

I remember, I remember
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily-cups -
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday -
The tree is living yet!

Well I wonder just how much we really do remember accurately about conditions during our childhood - our memories are very selective.

In my memory, all the lanes were thick with cowslips and buttercups and cuckoo flowers; the hedges of the lanes were festooned with wild dog roses and the hedge bottoms with dog violets.
I can both see them and smell them in my memory.

Yet, was it really like that all those years ago or has my memory enhanced it all? Certainly our lane is not like that now, although there are some cuckoo flowers (not out yet) and there will be some dog roses come June.

But what are returning in profusion are the cowslips. Suddenly as we were driving down the lane the other day we began to see cowslips dotted about in the grass at the side of the lane. What a joy to see. I can only surmise that the seeds have been latent in the grass and something in the weather conditions has suddenly spurred them into growth again. Tess and I walked down to the first lot to photograph them.

On my return to the front garden I found that all the forget-me-nots are suddenly in flower and one cheeky seedling has grown in a crack in the wall, producing a fine plant. Equally cheeky are the lily-of-the-valley. I planted some that my sister-in-law threw out (she does not care for plants which do not behave) but have they come up where I planted them? No! They have chosen a spot further up the garden and have popped up there. I love them and as far as I am concerned they may come up wherever they like. I wait for them bursting into flower. We have a bold show of tulips - battered by the gales the other week, we thought it would be a poor show this year, but no - brave as they are, and used to variable spring weather, they are there bold as brass. And for a far shyer plant - the sweet woodruff (asperula odorata) is sending up its neat little whorls and coming into flower. It is also one of my favourites.

Yesterday, sheep and lambs appeared in the field opposite our farm - two lovely little jet black ones amongst all the others- sturdy, I would guess that they are destined for an early market - sad but as a farmer friend says, "a short life but a merry one." And I suppose we must content ourselves with the fact that if we didn't eat them we wouldn't breed them in the first place (I am sure every vegetarian will have an answer to that.)

Sorry, but due to my photo printing problems I cannot let you see the photographs that I have taken for this post - they are stored but somehow will not transfer, so my brain still hurts!!

All is solved, thanks to my friend, S, who came round and printed my photographs for me. For anyone interested in the mechanics, she by-passed my computer and printed from my memory card straight on to the printer - brilliant and a great load off my mind - a thousand thanks S.


Mo and Steve said...

I remember a field of cowslips where we used to sit and pluck the flowers to suck the nectar out... there are houses there now :(

Irene said...

I remember in my childhood everything being lusher and greener and more abundant. And I am sure that the sun was always shining and that when it snowed, we had heaps of it. Summertimes lasted forever and we always got a tan. And we spent every daylight hour outside.

ArtPropelled said...

I remember a massive old oak tree in our back yard. I wonder if it really was as big as I remember it to be and I'm hoping it hasn't been chopped down like so many of the trees on our old farm.

ArcticFox said...

I remember when all this was just fields...... and look at it now!! Sounds like you have a nice garden there.... I'm a bit more haphazard in my gadening style.... I like it to be a bit wild, which generally means huggins of buttercups and weeds everywhere, but on the plus side, the dandelions are putting on a wild show at the moment.... and before I go weeding them out of the grass patch I laughingly refer to as a lawn, I've seen loads of bumble bee activity on the dandelion flowers so they can stay a bit longer..... all hail the insects.... as for lambs, yes you're right, we wouldn't have half as many if we didn't "farm" them but then sheep wouldn't cease to exist BECAUSE we didn't farm them would they??

Heather said...

I am quite sure there were more wild flowers everywhere when we were young. I remember a field covered in harebells and wild thyme, and bee orchids and wild strawberries on a sunny bank. I wonder what is there now.
Some plants seem to prefer finding their own spot in the garden and I often find them growing in places other than where I put them.
Sad about your photos but allow yourself a rest and maybe you will be able to post some another day.

angryparsnip said...

I think when we are younger everything is new, bigger or special.
Days spent playing or exploring about. Imagination was our friend.
It all made such an impact on our lives.
I think the children of today are missing out on the imagination.
Memories can be somewhat selective. I think we remember the good time happier and the sad times are blurred.
Because if they weren't we wouldn't be able to carry on and live our lives. Yes ?

cheers, parsnip

John Gray said...

memories of childhood, for me are few and far between..... i wonder why that is? perhaps after 60 they shall return to me like swallows in summer!

rkbsnana said...

I have thought the same thing. I have lots of memories I pass off as fact....could they possibly not be factual? Oh well, they make me happy.
Glad you got the pictures loaded. They are lovely

ChrisJ said...

Lovely pictures and thought provoking words. "To everything there is a season..." if only we would leave well enough alone.

Heather said...

So pleased you managed to print your photos. They are delightful and so cheering on a very wet and dismal day.

Rachel said...

Everything always seems better in our memories. More wild flowers, more friendly people, more hot summers, more this and that. I am thinking that today's young will be saying one day that their Facebook days were best when "we all had loads and loads of friends ....." or whatever.

The Weaver of Grass said...

A great weight off my mind as you can imagine. Thanks for the visit.

Mary said...

I always feel I recall everything about my English childhood - because I loved it all so much. Of course perhaps it's a trick of memory.......but I prefer to believe it's all true!

As for the lambs - can't go there because I've been a strictly non-meat eater for 35 years!

Hugs - Mary

H said...

The hedgerow opposite us was always packed full of cow parsley. Now there are houses :(

I still adore cow parsley for the memories it brings of a very happy childhood :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've noticed more bluebells and cowslips in the last couple of years, but in general I think there are fewer wildflowers in most places than there used to be. Sad isn't it?