This time last year, while we were still in the deep fog of early grief, Martin and I spruced up our back garden.
While we enjoy looking at flowers, we know little about gardening and we were glad to have the assistance of my green-fingered mum and brother. Our garden is a small courtyard, with a border that was at the time mostly strewn with weeds. Together, we spent a satisfying day digging them up, and planting fresh flowers, flowering bushes, and herbs.
As well as being a constructive way of spending the day, the activity was a tribute to Hugo. I wanted our garden to be alive with bright colour, and attract bees and butterflies because I like to believe Hugo’s spirit is everywhere, in nature particularly. I had especially chosen flowers that had tags promising that.
Our garden is a real sun-trap which encourages growth (of the weeds, mainly).
As well as established flowers, most of which are thankfully still flourishing, we planted wildflower and forget-me-not seeds. I was disappointed when nothing grew; perhaps we should have propagated them first, rather than putting them straight in to the border. The neighbourhood cats might have trampled the fledgling flowers when using our garden as their toilet, or birds might have picked the seeds.
I was especially disappointed that the forget-me-nots had not grown. Over the summer, we planted some established ones in Hugo’s garden, but I really wanted some at home too. The little blue star-shaped flowers are very symbolic.
Sometimes, it turns out, you need to exercise a little patience. It seems the forget-me-not just needed a bit of time and this spring it too is flourishing. The little star-shaped flowers in a beautiful shade of blue, with hints of yellow and purple are wonderful.
Even better, some of the wildflowers are now sprouting too.