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Monday, December 3, 2012

The number three

The creation of rich and beautiful gardens runs in my family. It comes from both sides, it's fair to say. On my mother's side, she couldn't imagine existence without them, nurtured and brought to perfection by her own hand. On my father's the instinct was to grow vegetables and fruit, the individual qualities of which he was also finely attuned.

   This isn't to say there was a sharp dividing line. All family members, myself included, had both flower and vegetable gardens, and also inherited that instinct about a plant that tells what it needs and where it needs to be to bring out the best in it.

   We all acquired that love of plants, and great gardens resulted from the work and love put into them.

   Tracey and I have not been able to create gardens like these; not because we don't know how to, but because unexpected events change life's path and take us well and truly into the woods.

   Three years ago today, at this time, I was sitting here, in this spot, working hard on editing video from the musical, Into the Woods. Three years ago, three hours later, I was trimming our large hedge. A half-hour after that, I was in an ambulance on the way to hospital, in the throes of that first and most massive focal seizure induced by the brain tumour which has dominated our lives ever since. Three years ago, we were told that without treatment, I could expect to live three months.

   Here I am still, exactly three years later, though much the worse for wear, I admit. Tomorrow, when I go for treatment, we may find that the last weapon in the pharmacopeia armoury will be denied, because it has to be. We'll then be well and truly on our own from that point of view in seeking to contain the tumour. Any other drugs will do no more than combat its effects.

   Last night, my sister Jan sent a few photos of flowers that had come out yesterday; a tiny fraction of what's there in her garden. They are day-lilies, I believe, though flower identification isn't my strongest suite.

   I thought they were symbolic in their own way, and I'll share them with you, and leave you to take from that what you may. Thanks for these, Jan. You didn't expect to see them here today, I'll bet, but I think you'll be happy to share them with people all over the world.


  1. Thank you for the flower pictures Dennis. Symbolic ... yes ... but can't quite pin it down; that is the way of beauty. At the end of reading your blog these pictures induced in me a kind of transcendental stillness and timelessness - 'eternity in an hour'. What a lovely sister you must have - thank you too, Jan. Fingers crossed tight for tomorrow.

  2. They are beautiful. Will think of you tomorrow and hope and pray that the armoury continues a steady supply

  3. Several of these same day lilies are just beginning to flower in my garden. Now they will always remind me of you and all the stories of your lovely family and youth. Keeping fingers crossed for today.

    Julie M


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