My Mother Brought Us Flowers by Simon JohnsonA simple post.

My mother had a great passion for gardens. We moved at regular intervals by which time she had transformed a drab patch of ground into a mass of blending colours. Each time, on the day before the furniture van pulled up, she’d go round with spade and trowel. She’d dig out bits of plants and stuff them, with a handful of soil, into polythene bags and pack them in cardboard boxes. The gardens were so profuse you couldn’t tell where she’d been but this raiding of one fed the next. By the time she died, over twenty years ago, she had stocked and nurtured half a dozen great gardens. In her later years she started passing on the same diggings, propagations, cuttings, splittings to us. Her gardens disseminated across the country from Thurso to Exeter. About a third of the plants in my garden are directly from hers’. She created wonderful displays which still live on and will continue to do so as long as I can wield a fork and hopefully into the next generation.

My Mother Brought Us Flowers

My mother brought flowers to the marriage.

Just touches of colour against the brick and grey

Of Barrow backyard where she grew borage

Blue and soon red geraniums display.

With baby two approaching they stir

To low road cottage where soft rain falls

On banksides. She plants roses round the door

And trains honeysuckle on whitewashed walls.Each garden left behind as move by move

Took Scotland’s northern shore and Kirby moor

She cast wide swathes of lilac, pinks and night

Scented stocks. Each garth feeding next refrain

With splits, cuttings, roots which she passed on

To us. She’s been long gone, her flowers still remain.

Simon Johnson