Her first sugarplums are ripening. Just after she has moved out. Planted for privacy outside her bedroom window, 5 years ago, when I could never have known this moment. And in honour of her love of the Nutcracker. As a 3 year old she was mesmerised by the 1993 DVD of the New York City ballet’s production. She carried us off in the magic and fantasy of it - the sugar plum fairy was her favourite- she would dress up and dance and dance… bringing delight and wonder back to Christmas, forever encased in family memories.
The sugar plum has another association with Christmas- a well loved poem " The Night before Christmas" by Clement Moore…(1823)
”the children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads”
Their powdered blueberry skin is tinged with amber lime green, all frosty -theyare an Italian plum, (prunica domestica) self pollinating and easy to grow- thriving in hot summers without heavy needs for water. Ideal for drying, because of their high sugar content. Then we know them as prunes.
I envisaged them surrounding her window – a mothers garden dreams for a daughter tangling her up in the garden… as if they could keep her safe-as if they could keep her here…