Saturday, 13 November 2021

The Rescued Dipladenia

 Our Indian summer has slipped away.  Toussaint has come and gone. All the plastic flowers, large pots of chrysanthemums and the detritus of Halloween have disappeared from the shops and Christmas (annoyingly early, but less early than we were used to in the UK) has arrived.  Shelf after shelf is piled high with seasonal chocolate boxes at the entrance to Leclerc's.

The misty mornings and bright afternoons of the last few weeks have enabled us to make a serious assault on the overgrown and much neglected used-to-be-cowshed down at the cottage.  It offers the potential to be a "proper" storage area and at the moment it's just a jumbled mess with encroaching brambles and saplings and a tumble-down back wall that fell over in one winter storm.  So we clear and carry and make journeys to our favourite council tip - the one where there is space to drive up and drive straight out without the challenge of reversing a recalcitrant trailer that insists on jack-knifing. 

During one of those trips to the tip in October, a council lorry pulled in behind us, piled high with flowers, all to be discarded.  On closer inspection the flowers proved to be plastic.  Toussaint is that time of year when France visits its deceased relatives, cleans graveyards and throws out last year's plastic bouquets.  Large pots of fresh chrysanthemums and new, elaborate plastic arrangements (for when the fresh flowers are gone over) are purchased to place round polished and swept tombstones.

As we were about to leave the tip, I headed past the lorry with the flowers one last time with a flattened cardboard carton destined for the skip back near the entrance.  When there it was!  A living, breathing large bright pink dipladenia among all the plastic. A word with the driver of the lorry and the dipladenia, rescued from certain death, came home with us.  

Repotted, it has pride of place on the terrace, just outside the kitchen door.  Full of blooms and buds, it is a splash of summer colour to lift the spirits on a drizzly November afternoon.