Photo by Jutta234.
This is my SO's favourite flower, the sea mayweed. It grows in huge groups like the one above and survives in amazingly bad conditions, namely the harsh sea-side weather. Icelanders have traditionally used this flower as a herb tea ingredient: it has a faintly sweet taste that reminds of chamomile, but is not as overpowering.
This also links to my grandparents via another flower that resembles Baldursbrá, the oxeye daisy. Icelanders call it Freyjubrá, over here both flowers are connected to the Norse Gods. Here's a ghost story about the oxeye daisy that happened in my own family.
Daisies were my grandmother's favourite flowers. They grew in small clumps at her and grandpa's summer cottage but alas, on the lawn, and grandpa didn't see a point of going around them when he mowed the lawn. Therefore grandma got some heavy rocks out of the lake and made a small circle around one group of daisies, and since grandpa also didn't see a point of going to the trouble of removing the rocks (which would have been a rather spiteful act anyway) he let them be. This is why the well-mowed lawn had a tiny bush of daisies growing on it.
Grandma died at fairly young age. After her death mowing down any daisies was strictly banned by grandpa at the cottage and this habit took on so well that I still can't quite bring myself to go over the daisies, now that grandpa's gone as well, though they grow wider every year and have by now taken over a tenth of the lawn. Whenever you start the lawn mower you get this feeling of being watched - a feeling very common from my childhood days when grandpa stood by the lake to keep an eye on the grandchildren swimming there, especially my somewhat unruly cousin - and here's another thing about the summer cottage, it's haunted.
Furniture moves on its own. Once when we were staying at the cottage I told the SO stories of things falling out of the shelves, the food cupboard emptying itself out entirely in one big crash, car keys going missing and being found in a jar of jam in the fridge without anyone knowing how they got there (there were people in the room the whole time and no one went to the fridge), things like that, that always coincided when someone spoke of doing something that grandpa had disapproved of while he had been alive. I then made a silly comment on how grandpa would probably do something similar if he didn't approve of the SO.
A moment later we noticed one of the chairs had turned 180° around. I take it that this was grandpa's joke, because when he REALLY disapproves things go flying. Nevertheless I've made a decision to never ask him for any kind of signs of his presence ever again.
Photo by Danielle Scott.
My mother's favourite flower that's always found in several colours in her garden, the above colour combination seems to be the one that's most to her liking (although when my mother's concerned all violas/violets are awesome). When I get my own garden I'm going to reserve a bed for these little pretties!
My mother's every bit a gardener's daughter, so most of my childhood memories have her invariably either standing in the kitchen or rummaging in the garden. To this day I can't properly think of any place as my home if it doesn't have potted plants because our homes have always been full of them, and by full I mean they cover most horizontal spaces and hang from the ceiling as well. Not to mention I can at any time picture what my mum's hands look like with dirt all over them, and pair her gardening positions with a matching plant.
Crouching down - violets, water lilies. Kneeling, any plant smaller than a violet. A yoga-posture like knees-straight + butt-up = strawberries, potatoes. Mildly bent in a way that makes your back hate you afterwards - planting a tree, cleaning the decorative pool, picking red currants. Black currants are always picked in a crouched down position. Dragging around branches of evergreens - rhododendrons, and winter is coming.
Photo by Donarreiskoffer.
Or ruiskukka (= rye flower) as it's known in Finland, since for obvious weather reasons we cannot grow corn. This was my other grandmother's favourite flower, the one who passed away earlier this year. Quite a woman she was, very typically Häme Finn. She loved depressingly sad music and could belt it out with an unsuitably happy mood. She was always very interested in what the neighbours were doing and who were visiting them. She had that strange quality where small annoyances were worth a long complaint and real problems had their place in jokes, or sideways comments that ended up with a "let's not make a fuss about it though" (= ei tehrä tästä ny numeroo / let's leave it entirely and don't tell anyone I said any of this).
Here's some of my grandma's favourite music! ):D
Peltoniemen Hintriikan surumarssi/The Funeral March of Hintriikka of Peltoniemi.
Hintriikka is dead, and the song lists the tragedies of her life. She was born poor, got to visit the church three times in her life one of which was her funeral, married but her husband died young. This song is often titled the most depressing song ever made in Finland.
Ontuva Eriksson/Limping Eriksson.
Eriksson is a poor old guy who dies and goes to Heaven - or does he? No, he watches people enter through the pearly gates but deems himself not worthy of joining "the fine people" who he's accustomed into thinking as his betters. Instead he sits outside of the gates and puts his begging hat down and is happy in his own way, because "it doesn't look like rain tonight and not a policeman in sight". The song ends with the line "it's best for you to stay outside of the gates - or is it, Eriksson?"
Photo by Dena Michele Rosko.
...yes, two versions. I can't decide which I like better, the salmon pink or the white geranium, so I went for both. This was one of my grandpa's (again, not the ghost, the other) favourites. He was a gardener and managed to grow one geranium, or pelargonia/pelakuu, into a huge bush over a metre tall. It now belongs to my mother.
Hey, since the other grandpa got a story this one should get one too, right? Not a ghost story but perhaps still somewhat supernatural.
He injured his arm while working in forest and it became badly infected. The situation was so dire that the doctor decided amputation was the only option (this was the time before penicillin, mind) and so he was taken in the hospital for the night.
While he slept he dreamed he was walking in a garden he didn't know, but knew he owned. It spread out in front of a large house he had never seen before but, as dreams put it, was also his. He was much older in the dream and, most importantly, had both arms.
When he woke up he made it clear that he would not go through the amputation and no amount of convincing turned his head. The arm ended up healing, and although the infection did harm at the nerves so that he could never straighten two of his fingers again he didn't die and could keep both his arms - and many years after he indeed built the house, and the garden as well.
Well, that was a long entry! Thank you for reading, I hope I didn't entirely waste your time. :)
Photo by Anita.
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