To win a competition is great. To win a competition that you didn’t even enter is amazing.
A few months ago I received an email from the National Dahlia Collection to say that I had won a prize. Everyone who subscribed to their newsletter was automatically entered and I was one of the lucky ones.
The only other thing I have won of merit is a rugby player. The college team auctioned themselves off to raise money for an upcoming tour. As bad luck would have it, the chap I won was also a friend’s boyfriend. She gave me a “look”. I knew just what that meant. He took me for a meal and I returned him, before the witching hour and in good working order.
It seems that yet again I have gone off on a tandem. Back to the story.
My prize was to name a dahlia. At first I thought it was a hoax. Hilarious. Then gradually, as messages passed back and forth, I began to believe it was true. They showed me a photo and left me to it. A deep rich pink, with a waterlily form, it looked a real beauty. What a treat, what a responsibility! I waited for inspiration. It arrived. I would called it Peggy’s Pearler. After my Mum and also in memory of my Dad. On occasion, if she got something mixed up or confused, my Dad would say “another one of Peggy’s Pearlers”. Said with a twinkle and with fun and affection. And they would both laugh.
Unfortunately, somewhere in the machine, the name was altered slightly so when I received the certificate from the RHS it read Peggy Pearlers. No matter. It still counts. Unfortunately there is no photo on the website yet, but here is a link to the Peggy’s Pearler (which I shall continue to call it). My picture of a not-quite-fully-out bloom will have to suffice.
As well as the honour of naming the dahlia, they sent me three rooted cuttings. These I have been growing on, fending off the molluscs and generally cossetting, much to the chagrin of adjacent plants. One of these will be heading to Wales this weekend, to meet its namesake.
Happy birthday to my best mum, from your best daughter. x