Chrysanthemums are a very special flower to me. First of all they come in an array of warm colours which woven together look like the most wonderfully rich Indian fabrics.
This one like an octopus
But in France, after the butchery which was the First World War, one year after the war, the Pointcaré government decided that all French soldiers graves should be decorated on 11th November. The Armistice being celebrated on 11th November, the only ornemental flower still in bloom in French gardens were Chrysanthemums, and because of the proximity of the date with 2nd November, it quickly became customary to go and place Chysanthemums (in French Chrysanthèmes, on relatives graves). Thus, in France this flower intrinsically embodies love and death, since for us it is a way of showing the love we hold in our hearts for our dearly departed. And in a sense, as far as gardens are concerned, you could say that Chrysanthemums were the last casualty of WW1, since they are now very rarely used as ornemental plants in French gardens.
A flower shop, just before la Toussaint (All Souls' Day, and by extension 2nd November, which is when the French go en masse to their relatives cemeteries.
So for "La Toussaint", my grand dad would take orders from people, and he would take me with him, we would load the pots on his wheelbarrow.
And would you look at the view from the cemetery!
But they are not forgotten, how could I forget the man who taught me all I know about picking mushroom, and blackberries, the man who brought me swimming in the river even in the rain, who could kill and skin a rabbit in 30 seconds flat, the man who used to read the newspapers aloud from his armchair for all to hear, the man who cooked the "bad" potatoes in a huge pot over the stove for his rabbits, and if I was very good would let me taste them with a bit of butter and some sea salt, before carrying same pot on same wheelbarrow down to the garden.
I prefer not to talk about my mum or grand mother, but my memories of them are just as sweet, but put it this way I now have a working garden in which I grow things, I own my very own wheelbarrow, and believe you me, if you don't own one, you can never know how useful it can be. In my kitchen there is a large bedroom wardrobe where I keep all my kitchenware, like my grand mother did, and these days, I knit a lot just like my mom, and I am finishing a huge tapestry that she gave me for my 18th birthday and that I never had the time or the inclination to do thus far.
So to all my people, if you are reading from above, I know you don't understand English, I would hope that since you are in Heaven you get to understand everything, and I do know that you can read my heart.