We’ve just planted a yellow rose, given to us by my sister when, with her husband, she joined Mrs Llew and me yesterday for a superb Italian meal, lavish with sea food. A day earlier we had, with much happiness, dined with our elder daughter and her husband at our town’s iconic 16th Century main hotel.
We took a lot of trouble with the rose, soaking it before putting it in the earth, excavating a nurturing, compost-filled home for it by our front porch. Mrs Llew has method! She coaxed rough stones out of the ground. She took care not to damage any underground pipes. She knelt to attend to the detail and scorned my worries that she’d get rheumatism in her knees. And there, with its tiny green shoots, is the heavily pruned yellow rose, waiting for the Spring.
It will probably outlive us at this friendly house. It will have its own story which future dwellers here may not know. But we know, Mrs Llew and I.
In our back garden are two mulberry trees, scions of Shakespeare’s mulberry at Stratford-upon-Avon. That represents the story of another family.
And then there are the meadowsweet, wild irises and spur valerian, the ancestors of which lived in the lanes of South Devon, where my parents lived.
Outward and visible signs of our passage through life. And that of our forebears. And friends.
The yellow rose marks a golden wedding. Of which I have written recently.
The anniversary of Mrs Llew and me.