Obviously I don't remember this event, but I do remember that, when I was away at boarding school from the age of eleven, my mother used to send me a parcel in time for my birthday each year, containing a bunch of these same flowers. I've noticed recently that every year, without fail, the self-seeded love-in-the-mist and the tiny white border carnations in my garden are flowering in time for my birthday, and so is my 'Albertine'.
So, as my birthday is next week, I was a bit disappointed that it looked as if my 'Albertine' had some way to go before flowering and wouldn't make it in time. But yesterday evening, whilst taking photos of the 'Alchemist', I spotted a different shade of pink, high up, too high up to take a photo, but it was in fact quite definitely the first 'Albertine' in bloom!
I had to risk life and limb hanging out of the back bedroom window to take this photo because the bloom was right up against the wall and almost under the window sill - the white is the wall of the house, just below the window sill and you can just make out the grid of my outside doormat between the stems of the nearby 'Alchemist' - and those 'Albertine' buds that I love so much that they are my idea of 'The Darling Buds of May'!
Turning in a slightly different direction as I hung over the windowsill, I noticed an interesting view of the 'Alchemist', looking down into it from above, with the ceanothus and mock orange appearing to be in the background, but in fact below it!
And here are a couple of updates on the 'Metanoia' rose - now turning decidedly 'frilly' -
We may often remark that the seasons have lost their 'settings' in recent years, as far as the flowering times of plants are concerned - I have photos of ten-week stocks flowering in my garden in the snow of January 2009! But as far as my 'birthday flowers' are concerned, Mother Nature is right on schedule!