Making Memories with Flower Gardening

Flower gardening is not only about the present, but can be about the past as well. Although this article is ostensibly about flower gardens, it is really more about carrying memories forward. This will enrich your flower garden.

Just three weeks ago, at the time I write this article, my mother- and father-in-law died as a result of a car accident. In the fallout around that, the children, including my husband, had to go through their belongings. We had to sort 90+ years of memories and found some amazing things.

But the part that has to do with flower gardening lay outside their home. Now, in their later years, they did not do as much gardening as they had previously. But, they still had a few plantings around their home. They had lived in this house for over 50 years and some of the plants provided memories to my husband and his siblings going back to their childhood.

It became very important to my husband and me to make sure we brought some of these plants into our own garden. There are the irises that my father-in-law fought to grow, in certain locations around the house, and that he fought to control in others. I don't know how many irises he gave away over the years trying to thin his beds and keep them from taking over.

There is the purple phlox that finally found its place outside the back door off the patio. When we were there this time, they were in magnificent bloom. Some of these will find their way into at least three gardens as an uncle has taken some plantings as well.

Although not part of the flower garden, there is the tree that my father-in-law planted to take the place of the garage the city would not allow him to build. "If I can't build a garage, I'm going to grow me one." Or the other tree, a red oak, in the front yard. I have pictures of my own children as little tykes standing in front of it. It has come a long way, baby.

Then there are the red roses of three different varieties in the back yard. These haven't been there as long as some of the other flowers. But they have been there since the grandkids and great-grandkids started coming along. What a better memory than carrying cuttings from these into our own flower gardens for our grandchildren to admire and know came from their great-grandparents.

This carrying on of the memories attached to the flower garden and of the joy of flower gardening is a good tradition. It is a living way to bring forward the past into the present. You may wish to consider this yourself as well. Browse our gardening articles in our Gardening Tips Articles for tips on how to take cuttings or otherwise propagate plants from your own parents' and grandparents' flower gardens. Share these living reminders of your personal history with your own family. Make your flower gardening that much more important and enjoyable.

2005, Sandra Dinkins-Wilson.

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