INDEX Wednesday January 27, 2021
When I went to visit my grandfather when I was small, he always seemed to be in the garden. At the time I thought it was because he was a keen gardener, and he was, up to a point; but I think he may also have heard me coming (I made a lot of noise) and tried to escape the attention of my feet.

I was clumsy, still am clumsy, and tended to tread on people's feet. My grandfather was old and had been ill most of his life and had a low pain threshold. So he wanted to have some free space to dodge, probably.

On the other hand he was genuinely a keen gardener with green fingers. Unfortunately, he didn't pass them on to me.

I tend to kill off any plants I am looking after. But even I can't kill off an Amaryllis. These plants, one of which is currently flowering on my windowcill, are so vibrant that if you forget to remove them from the cardboard box they are always sold in, they will grow out of the box and find the light.

For years I used to buy one for my mother every Christmas. It would shoot up, growing so fast that you could almost see it moving.

And most years my mother would tell me the story of how she had met an American girl called Amaryllis in her youth.

For years she had thought it was just a posh name but eventually she discovered the flower the girl had been named after. Mum and dad spent a lot of time in Florida, where the Amaryllis grow all year round.
Posted by Jonathan Brind.
Wednesday January 27, 2021