Monday, June 18, 2007



Flowers are very emotive things. I am always reminded of that at this time of year as the first sweet peas and sweet williams arrive in the shop and customers begin to reminisce about their grandparents gardens.

I too associate particular flowers with particular people - foxgloves, at their peak this week, I associate with my Australian friend Sue.

Sue moved with her family to stay in a cottage near our old house for the year of 1998 when her husband Phil worked on a job exchange. Sue is one of these people with a natural ease which makes everything that she does appear to be exactly the way it should be done.

She loves flowers but the exchange rate difference made Scotland a very expensive place to stay, particularly with 3 children. There was no room in her weekly budget for the flowers she was used to buying back in Melbourne. So she would pick cow parsley and foxgloves from the verge outside her house and arrange them in tall jugs in the kitchen. It looked wonderful, as it would.

I was very influenced by Sue- it was her who introduced me to Country Living Magazine and, more importantly, who showed me a more relaxed way to parent. She hates computers so I doubt she will read this.

Does anyone else have flowers that remind them of specific people?

The foxglove in the photo is a variety called "Elsie Kelsie", a sport of the native white foxglove with a very dark mark for the bees to see how to get into the flower.

9 comments:

carolyn said...

Flowers are full of memories for me, I still have my Grandmother's paeonies now growing in my own garden. I even planted Grape Hyacinth once out of sentiment even though I loathed it as a child, but I guess it sensed my antipathy because they withered and died whereas the paeonies, lily of the valley, orange blossom, lilacs and many more "old friends" flourish.

PG said...

That is a lovely foxglove!

Certain types of succulents remind me of my mother and the plants she grew from cuttings/leaves she had craftly swiped from various W.I trips to stately homes (who had greenhouses full of them).

jamjar said...

The sight and scent of the New Dawn rose transports me back to my childhood in my parents garden, I have a huge one climbing over my fence and I adore it.

Gigibird said...

I think the plant that best reminds me of my Granny is a mauve hibiscus; she used to have 2 in her back garden.
In my old garden I had 2, a white standard in the back but a beautiful mauve one in my front.

alice c said...

My mother always grew Fuschia 'Thalia' as a standard when I was growing up. And now I buy one every year because it reminds me of childhood summers.

the flour loft said...

sweet williams and hostas and dahlias.. my dad
snowdrops..my mum
chives.. my motherinlaw ( sadly passed on ).. have divided the ones she gave me and have passed them on to so many friends now and we still have loads too.
hydranga.. my grandad.. he had one outside the front of his house when i was a child.
i'm sure there are loads more but i should be taking the kids to school so bbest go and be a good mum!
It's looks ike it'll be sunny here in the south today .. have a good day jane.
ginny x

Jane said...

Well here is is horrible drizzle - yesterday was glorious but I was out, today I have some major weeding to do and I am going to get very wet.

J
x

Marie said...

My Mum grows sweet peas on her allotment and she used to give me bunches of them to take home. I adore their scent and the pretty pastel colours.

What a lovely pair of baby bootees Jane - they will be treasured.

Marie x

linda may said...

In my garden I have lots of different plants that remind me of the people from whom I got them. There is a can begonia that is from a plant belonging to my grandmother who did when I was 5 yrs old. Plants and cuttings from friends and other relatives as well that I can look at and be remind of that person.