It is Mother’s Day in the USA. The UK version was earlier, in March, but since my mother is there, she usually gets two greetings from me, one for each version of the holiday.
Mother’s Day for me means flowers, at least in part. I often (although not this year) make and send her a card featuring a flower from my garden. Roses are usually the ones that make it to the card (my mum loves them) but as I stood in the garden this morning and looked around, the Oleander caught my eye. The bushes are covered in pink flowers (click the image on the right for a larger view), with many more to come, and I was suddenly put in mind of the years I lived in the Caribbean. Oleander plants were very common, and I recall many of them (in a selection of colours, I think) in the grounds of St. Augustine’s where my family went to church and my siblings and I (at various stages) went to school. (That church, the school in the grounds, and most of the town of surrounding it is all buried under ash now. All gone.)
Overall, oleander is an impressive plant. It was for me then and it remains so now. The flower clusters are very bold and striking, and I like their shape both open and closed in fact. I think even back then I had a lot of respect for the plant since I knew that it has very strong sap that could stain your clothes (an issue of concern when in one’s school uniform, required items of clothing that were to be kept clean, and would have been trouble to replace). In fact, the plant is quite toxic if ingested. I can’t remember if I knew that at the time – I suspect I did – but that probably added to my regard for it.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, reading the blog or not.