If you were to ask me to name a few favorite plants in my gardens, I would say without reservation that many of the “Number-One-Top-Favorites” are those received from special people in my life. Gardening lends itself to the creation of memories: memories of “plant forays” to nurseries, trips to interesting and/or notable places, and most especially, cultivating relationships with friends and relatives.
For example, my parents have shared many plants (what about that large-flowered, pale yellow daylily my dad and I purchased in Mason City many years ago? Upon returning home, we divided the plant so we could share it!) Not only did I receive daylilies, phlox, Virginia Bluebells and several other herbaceous perennials over the years, but also raspberries, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb.
My Aunt MEA also has shared many plants over the years including: two varieties of phlox, several hostas, lily bulbs, a fern leaf peony, two varieties of Ginger, Blood Root and Geum triflorum (commonly called Purple Smoke).
Following a quick walk around the yard last night, I found I’ve received daylilies from Joan, Clustered Bellflower from Marty, Ostrich fern from Chris, Bleeding Heart and Glory Lily Gloriosa supurba from Kris, Hosta from Neil, Gooseneck Loosestrife from the church, and Heuchera from Connie. I hope I haven’t left anyone out!
A few very special items have been received from fellow Garden Bloggers. Because I’ve maintained a garden blog for over five years, I’ve “met,” through our posts and communications, gardeners not only from many states, but also several countries. We share information, inspiration, seeds and plants (we trade!). I’ve received seeds for Tennessee Coneflowers from Gail (Tennessee resident), Ligularia seeds from Jim (Ohio), Queen-of-the-Prairie from Kathleen (Colorado), Monarda plants from IVG of Des Moines, and several unusual plants from Iowa Boy of Iowa City.
“Landmark memories” might include nurturing the love of gardening in a child, the year of hardscape and landscape improvements, memories may involve such things as weather conditions or a battle with “critters.” What about garden parties, birthdays, graduation and wedding celebrations?
Whatever your interests or activities, take a walk around your yard. Perhaps you’ll find you’ve already created some pleasant, long-lasting memories. Gather some friends, share some plants, and make a few more special memories.
Kathy Tollenaere is a Master Gardener.