Memory of a long life of love | life and style

OWhen I’m sad I sow. This seed, however, is full in memory. Henriette’s mother, Ina, died. Peacefully, in his sleep, a few weeks after his birthday. I plant her planter (sorry, I’m not quite ready for the past yet). I sow calendula – of course – in her pots. We always buy her flowers, fancy English tea and cookies. This time, however, we walk past the cute boxes to check in.

Denmark is bathed in sunshine by the sea. My daughters Kala and Radha came to support Henri. To help wrap up Ina’s long life. Sort through his house and his memories.

I find myself buying too many packets of flower seeds. I water. I hoe. I sow wild meadows, with lots of blueberries, daisies.

There’s a box of wild blue lupine pods. The kind that lines Scandinavian roads. I’m scattering way too many in the borders, the new flower bed. Poppyseed will wait until Easter when we return for a reunion with her sisters, neighbors and friends.

Ina was a jam genius. She recently trained Henri’s brother, Jørn. We find blackcurrants in his freezer. He – and we – will be Ina’s favourite. We will buy more shrubs from the nursery. Line them up along the sunny side of the summerhouse.

There’s a budding calendula outside her front door. From the seed I sowed. It is now replanted where the blackcurrants will grow. Cheerful summer orange among melancholy.

Henri finds a note his mother wrote after she told him we had met, with exclamation marks. It is now our 30th anniversary weekend. In the quiet evenings, we walk together on the beach at sunset, Kala, Radha, Henriette, three extraordinary women honoring a beloved family pioneer.

Badger knocks down low feeders. A hare walks in the garden. As they leave, the new daffodils planted in autumn join the blooming primroses.

Allan Jenkins’ Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 at guardianbookshop.com

About Maria Hunter

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