June 12, 2022
For children growing up in Everton, Liverpool in the 1960’s, conditions were poor. Parents struggled financially in a grey world. Row upon row of dark, damp terraces houses stretched from the hill to the docks. Wildlife was scarce, except for pigeons, starlings and stray dogs.
However, in all that poverty, a small patch of green we called ‘The Flower Park’, gave us a place to go. Filled with geraniums and grassy banks, we played there as children and talked there as teenagers.
Every Autumn, the ‘cocky watchman’ would dig up the plants and throw them on the compost heap at the side of the park. They lay amongst broken pots and spent plants.
I would go through the heap and collect a few along with the broken pots and tale them home where I’d replant them. We couldn’t afford quality compost so ‘muck’ would do.
I’d nurse these plants, watering and talking to them daily and, lo and behold, many (not all admittedly) would thrive. I had a window ledge of brightly coloured geraniums.
In the same way, we children grew up in poor conditions; no quality compost or ‘posh pots’ for us but, with love and encouragement, we too thrived and blossomed in our lives. We too have adorned the window ledges of life.
Its a glad iris.
What does it smell like?
– No scent
Without harming it, how does it feel?
– The petals are soft and fragile. There are 2 large ones that dance in the breeze. Firmer and shorter ones sit at the top. Its leaves are smooth, firm and tapered.
Is it edible?
– Its waist high, delicate flowers with petals that playfully move in the breeze like a banner. Their bright yellow colour contrasts to the leaves which are smooth and tapered and come to a point, but are not sharp. The leaves’ thickness contrast the fragility of the petals. It is thick at the base where leaves and stems shoot out from. Its new flowers are curled up in a shape like a cocoon then they break out
It reminds me of the Tiger Tiger poem.
By Angela Reid