aquawise(zone 4 Utah)December 13, 2009

Just a thought for the Flower Lover in us All.

Theirs a nasty storm going on outside, wind and cold and blowing rain/snow. I am wondering if any of you dedicated Gardeners remember loved ones with flower associations? When I think of my grandfather I think of Giant Peonies he had may and loved them all, he was so proud of his single petal climbing white rose and his hedge of yellow roses. My Dad loved heavenly blue Morning Glory and Bright little Marigolds. Von [my step dad] It was Daylilies and Lilies of any kind, He passed away last year on 12/29. I went to the house and rescued all I could, so I now have many lilies and I don't know the name of a single one. Mother ??? she was not a plant lover but I remember her teaching me how to make Hollyhock dolls using tooth picks. It was so much fun I passed this on to my girls as well. My brother Gary [killed in Nam 1969] Loved Yellow Roses the bright color and the wonderful smell he said made him remember "HOME" and all the thing that go with being Home. My Sister Becky [Died of a drug overdose] Maiden pinks and trumpet vines she gave me tons of magic Lilies, every August when they bloom I thin of her. The Yellow Rose hedge out back came from Gramp's garden. these are for Gramps and Gary. All around me I have reminder of those that have passed. Each one in the form of a Flower, Makes me feel all warm an fuzzy inside, Like each one lives on in my Garden. Hugs to everyone this holiday season.

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Absolutely! Some of my earliest memories are associated with gardens of people I know or have known. Gardening in general makes me think of my Mom who gave me my love of gardening. Thankfully she's well and still piddling in her yard. I have peonies from a friend who passed away a few years ago. I also have many plants from people I've become friendly with thru gardening and often think of the person when I look at the plant they shared with me.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 1:00PM
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amelia_pepper_lady(8B/9 LA)

Thank you for the lovely post.

Most of my memories involving plants are centered around my grandmother. I've recently found that I have a strong affinity for plants she loved but that I should not be able to remember. We had severe weather when I was 2. Tornadoes in the summer and a very hard freeze took many of her plants. Since she was no longer living in her home, she didn't replace these. There are several plants that I have seen and gone to extremes to obtain. Without fail, these are some of the plants my grandmother lost that year. Do I have some memories of these plants? Not consciously but my mother has begun to suspect that I do remember somehow.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 9:17AM
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Aquawise, thank you for prompting me to take a moment to think about your question. I remember my maternal grandmother who grew a mophead hydrangea, a tiny spreading sedum and grew fragrant, old time petunias. I now grow the sedum and the hydrangea which came from her house. Last summer my wife hung a fragrant petunia in a basket by the driveway door. Every time I past it and smelled it I thought of my grandmother's wide banisters on her front porch where the petunias grew and the huge rocking chair on that porch where she rocked me 55 years ago.

I also think of my paternal grandparents home which we could see from our kitchen and across the pasture. They had three fig trees on the south side of the house, two Chinaberry trees (Melia azedarach)in the front yard next to the road and lavender sweet peas tumbled down the rock wall from the yard to the road. We boiled Chinaberries to get to the seeds, dyed the berries red and strung them on thread to make Christmas tree decorations, and "Indian" necklaces and bracelets. On a hillside beside the local interstate there is a retaining wall where sweet peas grow. I think of my grandparents' every summer when they bloom or when I see a Chinaberry tree.

Finally, when my mother sold her home 6 years ago and moved in with my sister, I dug several plants from her yard. I have a prostrate yew that came from a neighbor of my aunt to my aunt, to my mother and now me. I have lots of inherited plants which I will never part unless I they die or I die. Many of these plants came from Mother but she received them from a sweet neighbor who was like a grandmother to me.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2009 at 10:23PM
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Thanks Gayla. I have never thought of this I guess because I fell in love with flowers in the past 10 years or so. I will think of things like this in the future. I know that one grandmother loved westeria and the other one loved what we call sweet shrub, that has a brown flower.
I do know my wife loves yellow roses as that was the main flower used at our wedding 32 years ago. My favorite is "Tropicana" roses and any type of red flowers. My parents are still alive and I will find out what their favorites are tonight as a matter of fact, as they are coming for CHRISTmas dinner tonight as we could not get together yesterday.
Thanks again Gayla and GOD bless you and yours.

I hope this prompts others to think about this and find out before it is to late.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 3:43PM
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I just remembered that I have red spider lily bulbs that I dug this fall ( probably 50-75 of them) and they are from next door and they were planted by my wife's great grandmother or her mother, no one remembers anymore as it has been so long ago. That makes them go back 4-5 generations.
I love them because there will be nothing there one day and then the next there will be these beautiful red lilies blooming that last about a week or so and then there is nothing again until the next year.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 3:57PM
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domehome(9 CA)

I just had to mention my grandfather here. He was a successful businessman and yet he still had time for his rose garden, and he had dicondra for a lawn, he was so proud of it. My mom didn't garden much but every year she and grandfather would each plant sweet peas and have a contest to see who could grow the best patch!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 10:51PM
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It's so nice to know I'm not the only one who has sentimental attachments to their plants!

I think of loved ones every day when I caress my inside plants or go outside to check on my outside jungle. My Grammy (great-grandmother) had a snowball bush so when we bought our house 12 years ago and the big green bush on the side bloomed in snowballs, I sat in the yard and wept with joy. My husband, bless his heart, has no idea what anything is but they're dear to him because I love them all so and when I told him what the bush was, he sat there with me. My Granddaddy was so proud of his strawberry beds - he'd be out by the light of the moon working nitrogen into the soil and boy, did he have BERRIES! He'd puff up with pride when everybody sat down to desert made with his red beauties. Last year I put in a 3rd berry patch along the old clothesline poles in the back yard and am working to get my strawberries up to his standard.

My Neenee had tulips every spring so I would go out and pop the heads off to bring to her, carrying them in my skirt (I was 2 and 3). She never get cross but would float them in a punchbowl -- this is how I thought flowers were displayed for the longest time!! Growing up, her Mimosa tree was my Fairy Princess playhouse - those beautiful pink puff blooms everywhere. Now we have tulips along our driveway and a mimosa tree in our front yard (a seedling from a neighbor's tree that self-planted in a flower bed). She's 94 and still loves tulips in the spring - we email back and forth and both remember those days when we see the beautiful blooms appear.

My mom has always had a vegetable garden and when she was divorced, working 2 jobs, my brother and I hand dug her a garden so she wouldn't have to be without that year (we were 11 and 6). I always try to mix areas of veggies in my flower beds to have the homemade salsa, jelly, etc. that our family is used to.

Now our daughter has lily beds all around her house with other bits of green here and there. I shared some of my husband's great-grandmother's lily of the valley pips his mother had given me and they fit right along the front walk of her home. She's working on a berry patch and a small vegetable garden this year as well.

Our 4 year old grandson is plant crazy and loves to help Mamma with her greenlings. He waters every time he comes over and is amazed watching seeds sprout to become something living. I wonder sometimes what he'll have in his house as an adult and which plants he'll remember from now.

I have plants everywhere -- it takes 2 hours with a hose hooked to the faucet to water the inside jungle! But they are all so dear and many collected from little old ladies in our small town that I called my Flower Grandmas -- several of whom have passed now but whenever I see their plants I think of them.

Plants are such a boon to the soul and to sit on the edge of my raised bed with the fronds of my baby weeping willow caressing me makes the world a better place no matter what the day was like.

Thanks so much for sharing your loving memories.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 4:40PM
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monkeymamaof4(ne 5)

This is such a good subject. There are a lot of memory plants in my yard and some that are pass along plants. I have tons of lilac and Iris which always remind me of my Grandma Isla, who is gone. I went to the house where they lived before they tore it down and dug up a lot of the Iris and have moved them from house to house as we moved. Funny when we moved here I had a pickup load of plants from our old house and went back twice and got more. Good thing because the owner dug out all of my flowers and planted grass. I am glad that I saved them.

My Grandpa Deano loved tulips and so I have planted many and just planted some more from my brothers house. They have decided to tear out the gardens and I just hate letting flowers go to waste, so I dig and find places for them. Growing up the main flower my folks had was marigolds and iris so have marigolds in memory of growing up. Now my girls love to help me and I had to laugh at the poster about stemless flowers. It has taken me a while to get the girls to pick flowers with stems. This year they figured out how to open up the daffs before they bloomed so we already have flowers in the house. Any plant in my garden is free for the taking and the flowers are all meant to be picked.

I always plant a large veggie garden like my folks did growing up, and am trying to get some raspberry and strawberry plants going. I remember going out and eating my fill of raspberries and strawberries. Mine are far enough along that they can start eating them, but not their fill so am looking for more to add. I am one that loves plants that are pass alongs, if I see someone thinning out flowers I will stop by and ask for any extras for my garden. I have even went and helped out older gardeners clean out their beds and weed in exchange for some plants. I would say 90 percent of my plants came from others. I also love wildflowers and have been known many times to stop along the road to dig up plant starts, I even keep a trowel and bucket in the vehicle just in case.

All in all I am glad to say that I am passing on my love of gardening to my kids and hope that they will show their own kids some day.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:46AM
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corgicorner(Mass 6/7)

Mother loved violets, but I think back in those days there was only one color--violet. This year I intend to plant some Violets at her toomstone, along with some Forget-me nots. They are both perennials, and I hope and pray they will last a long, long time.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:06PM
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