Henri’s birthday can be together with her mum in Denmark. This land is her land. It lives deep in her childhood of lengthy summerhouse holidays, the seaside close by, surrounded by daisies, cornflowers, poppies and pine bushes.
We’re fortunate in London to stay near Hampstead Heath, extra like countryside than a metropolis park (although much less so in lockdown). There have been picnics after main faculty. Later, flying kites with the youngsters – maybe extra my factor than theirs. At all times lengthy walks. This we nonetheless do.
The roof terrace was extra mine at first. Climbers, annuals, typically in main colors, reds and blues. Then got here the allotment. The women would go to with Henri, selecting beans and peas and flowers. The roof terrace morphed, grew to become extra architectural. Higher crops and pots. Henri keeping off my over-enthusiasm.
Then she discovered the summerhouse, a Nordic seaside hut together with her childhood mates shut by. Crucially, not too removed from her mom. Northern woodland with a sea soundtrack. Virtually no intervention right here, although we plant bulbs on the edges, and an occasional birch or beech.
There are excellent hepatica and primrose, cowslips and snowdrops in abundance, shy violets snuggled like sleepy mice in shelter. Right here, Henri shrugs off the UK and the town. She calmly wears her Danish identification. She mows the grass, trims the perimeters. I generally attempt to remove her secateurs.
We stay outdoors. We eat to the sound of the ocean. We wander round in marvel.
We regularly go right down to the seaside for the sundown. Generally with a summer season beer, often a winter whisky. I’ve slowly discovered a lesson right here. I don’t at all times have to form a backyard, an inside or outdoors house. It’s even higher to let land reshape you. Completely satisfied birthday, Henri. Tusind tak.
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