Happy Mothering Sunday

So Happy Hallmark Day to all of you out there.

If you look up Mother’s Day online you find out all sorts of interesting things but for me, best of all was this……..Mothering Sunday – not to be confused with Mother’s Day.

So here’s a quick breakdown of the two days.  Mothering Sunday is a Christian festival celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent at The Mother Church (that being either the Parish church where you were born or the local Cathedral). In days of yore and servitude it was also something to look forward to as you got the day off (a rarity) to go a Mothering, basically a day off to go home and attend your church.

Mother’s Day is a day that has morphed from Mothering Sunday, having been hi-jacked by card manufacturers. A day when we’re on a three line whip to celebrate Motherhood, buy expensive flowers (British of course) and travel to see our Mums.

Mothers Day Tulips
Tulips probably from Amsterdam

Now I’m a mother and I’m lucky enough to still have my mother with me, not literally but in the alive and kicking sense and I am also most fortunate to have gone through adolescence and forged a fabulous relationship with her. But I know many of my friends have lost their mothers, again not in a careless way, but taken too early from them, some as a result of cancer and other incurables, and their loss is felt most keenly today. I also have friends who have no relationship at all with their mothers, it’s very sad but a toxic relationship with your family is difficult but especially so when its with the person society tells you will love, care and always be there for you. Some of my friends will never be mothers, either through choice or by a cruel twist of fate and for the them today can be equally difficult.

Mother’s Day can be fraught with a sense of overwhelming loss for so many, so for all those of you out there, whether you celebrate Mothering Sunday or loathe Mother’s Day for personal reasons these are for you…..and yes they are home grown.

Mothers Day Iris
Iris Harmony for Mothering Sunday

Winter Solstice

So here we are again, at the tipping point of the year, where we look forward to lengthening days and the return of the light. It’s an odd sort of thing to feel on the one hand that winter is over and on the other know that really it has yet to begin.

Solstice sunrise

Dawning of a new day

With only one frost here so far this season the garden is still rather floriferous, if a little perplexing, and although I am not complaining about double digit daytime temperatures I do wonder what knock on effect this overly warm start to the Winter will have next year.

At the moment we have a rather odd mix of flowers in the garden, primroses, hellebores, wallflowers, celandines and the odd snowdrop alongside roses, hesperantha, pelargoniums and hardy geraniums. Some are early and some are just downright confused having no business being in flower at the end of December at all.

Flowering Dec 2015
An eclectic December collection

Its not just the flora that’s bemused the fauna seem to be unseasonably active. Bees, both honey and bumble, are out and about looking for food and I pity the poor lady pheasants, it seems they are in for an extra couple of months of harassment as the chaps are already squaring up to each other in a territorial fashion.

This year more than any other feels as though Winter decided to take a holiday and let it’s young friend Spring mind the shop for a few months. Although I do wonder if Winter will return with renewed vim and vigor having being refreshed by an out of season break, and so with that in mind I’m off now to try and find my thermals (just in case).

Happy Solstice.