In every garden, plants will die. Whether they return each Spring obviously depends on what you've planted, and if you've had a harsh winter. It's part of being a gardener.
Today I suffered a great loss. Some readers may think it trivial, but a fair amount of my plants, especially my perennials and evergreens are planted with specific impetus, often something emotional.
When I was very small, whenever I visited my Grannys' I was measured for growth against two huge azure-blue flowered Hydrangeas - the blooms of which must surely have been the size of my head - that grew either side of her front door. She lived in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and had the most beautiful gardens. My love of Daffodils comes from my childhood visits in the Springtime where her sweeping front lawns were a sea of yellow, and my quest to grow blue Hydrangeas since her passing has been a battle I was beginning to win. Until today.
This picture was taken only yesterday. I was so pleased to have a decent sized blue head on this relatively small Hydrangea. Well, it's a start, right?
Despite being planted by a wall, I was given a great tip by an equally great friend to help prevent the lime from the wall from making the blue flowers turn pink from the leaching alkalinity - by burying a handful of rusty nails and screws to add iron. Last years flowers had turned pink, but as you can see, it certainly seems to have done the trick! To help keep the blue flowers, never water with tap-water, only rain water, and once they're flowering, to feed with a feed suitable for lime-haters. I don't think any of my plants are cosseted as much as these fussy chaps, not even my roses!
Today however, a young lad of around 7 or 8 decided he would rather decapitate the perfectly blue bloom and leave it spoiled in the road, along with a few allium heads that were beginning to colour up. Not content with beheading my alliums, but in his selfishness, considered it his duty to rip said alliums from their earthy beds.
I gave the boy a wee chat, explaining that although all my hard work was to benefit the whole road with their pretty blooms he couldn't help himself to them as it was stealing, and stealing is wrong. That breaking my flowers was wrong, and that he wouldn't like it if I came into his house and broke some of his toys. Imagine my astonishment when he piped up that he breaks his toys himself. There's just no reasoning with the intellect.
For me, there is a saving grace. My beautiful blue Hydrangea will return, bigger and better next year, but I very much doubt that there will be any improvement in the behaviour of a child who even at his age cannot tell the difference between right and wrong. For whom the property of others is regarded of little importance and respect is something of a mystery.
Ah the children of our future. We're all doomed.