A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Los Pensamientos De Lauren
Thursday, August 20, 2009


Planta herbácea anual, de la familia de las Violáceas, con muchos ramos delgados, hojas sentadas, oblongas, festoneadas y con estípulas grandes, flores en largos pedúnculos y con cinco pétalos redondeados, de tres colores, que varían del blanco al rojo negruzco, pero generalmente amarillos con una mancha central purpúrea los dos superiores, pajizos los de en medio y morado oscuro aterciopelado el inferior, y fruto seco capsular con muchas semillas. Es planta de jardín, común en España.
Real Academia Española

Few people unless they are serious gardeners understand that the common pansy is in the same family as the just as common violet. I need not translate that or the extremely detailed description of the pansy from my on-line dictionary of the Real Academia Española.

When you have two granddaughters and when one of them is younger (Rebecca is 12, Lauren 7) you can get away with getting a present for one without getting on for the other when the young one is very young. So Rebecca has been getting roses, hostas and the odd rhododendron from me for her backyard garden (her plants are all in pots) without any equivalents for Lauren. But Lauren began to notice and I felt guilty. I couldn’t give her roses as she was much too young to take care of them. Roses can be fussy. Last year I gave her a pot of winter pansies. She was delighted with her gift. Every time I go to inspect Rebecca’s garden, Lauren points out at the excellent condition (they are kill proof!) of her pansies. She also has Hosta ‘Peanut’. I gave her sister one of these small hostas, too.

I have observed that while Rebecca has an interest in roses and other plants of my garden, Lauren notices plants, too. She pointed at two little box hedges at our front gate and asked, “Why is one in good shape and the other one in not so good shape?” I am ashamed to report that I did not answer her. It is almost as if just because she is 7, I cannot consider her question an intelligent one, which it was. I should have answered her although she might not have liked my answer, “Dogs.”

My granddaughters and their parents are in Penticton on vacation. I miss them all very much and in particular Lauren and Rebecca. But I now understand that I might have more than one garden granddaughter. Will I have to buy them plants in twos? I think so.

A pansy in Spanish is a pensamiento. A pensamiento is a thought. But because for many of us the word is associated with that cute and indestructible pansy, pensamiento has a poetic side to it that went missing when it became thought.

Estoy pensando en mis niñas, Lauren y Rebecca y las extraño. Word for word that translates into, I am thinking about my girls, Lauren and Rebecca and I miss them. I could try to explain how extrañar, miss, has a root that comes from stranger, strange and foreign and only then would you understand how poor, English sometimes is to express our innermost feelings.


Previous Posts
Our Mondrian On Burrard

Xantippe, Primogeniture, Subjective & Objective

Wetting Earth - Volcanoes - Mexico - México - Méji...

August & Our Urban Malaise

Lauren - Not Yet In Her Little Red Dress

Winston Carlyle Miller & His Orphan Client

Real Polo

Not Taking It For Granted That It Will Always Work...

T&A No More

Bill Featherston's Guardian Angel

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