It is Valentine’s Day at present, a celebration of affection, when principally males nonetheless principally purchase purple roses and sweets. I’ll be shopping for tall French tulips, amber-coloured if I can discover them. Extra seemingly in lockdown I’ll flip to the good Billy Loves Flowers (billylovesflowers.com), who would possibly drop me off a bunch or three on her return from a trawl by way of New Covent Garden Market.
I’ll additionally ask her to ask round for Henri’s favorite lily of the valley, hopefully full with bulbs at the moment of 12 months. A spring-flowering supply might be left on my doorstep at round 6.30am, like from an old-school milkman. I’ll seemingly wave from a window.
Males shopping for bunches on every other day can nonetheless be seen as an indication of atonement or early romance. It’s as if flowers are principally a feminine factor.
We all the time attempt to have a few vasefuls, however this previous 12 months I’ve additionally turned to purchasing flowering vegetation in pots: bulbed amaryllis (Tosca is a favorite); bowls crammed with hyacinths or paperwhites; trays of muscari, blue or good white, due to deliveries from Billy and from Jane Scotter by way of Spring to Go. Below every isolation I’ve felt a extra pressing must convey the skin in.
In summer time I carry house bunches of scented candy peas, orange marigolds or unruly nasturtiums from the plot; companion planting for my companions. However our flowers are more than likely grown at house on the roof terrace or in a window field. I sometimes yearn for a tropical greenhouse or more room, however for now that itch is soothed by overstocking my daughters’ – Kala and Radha’s – gardens.
Tulip bulbs, flowering herbs and hardy annual borders; swaying cosmos and calendula. Fences of clambering roses and clematis, of sweet-smelling honeysuckle and jasmine.
I really like you, it merely says. With flowers.
Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Property, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com