Posies of Memories

Endless rain and grey skies had me scurrying outside a few days ago during a rare lull in the storms to see if I even had a garden left or if it had all washed away! As it turned out I discovered far more than just flowers. Not only were the hellebores in full bloom (as expected), but lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata) was also flowering in the woodland – that will make the hummingbirds happy for sure! I was also delighted to notice the first buttercup-yellow winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) blooms emerging together with some early windflower (Anemone blanda), deer-resistant bulbs I planted by the hundred in the fall of 2018.

English primroses are a soft buttery yellow and grow in lovely mounding hummocks. Mercifully they seem to be ignored by both deer and rabbits.

What really stopped me in my tracks though were my primroses, the traditional English woodland primrose (Primula vulgaris). Certainly the petals were waterlogged and baby slugs had been chomping a few of the flowers into lace, but as I knelt down to get closer to these old fashioned perennials I was flooded with memories. Suddenly I was a child again, gathering these beauties in the woods not far from where I grew up (it was acceptable back then – I would never dream of doing this today!) I recalled the hosta-sized clumps that Mum grew in her garden and the generous divisions she shared with neighbors, friends, and the many passers-by who stopped to chat as she worked outside.

My daughter Katie discovering primroses aged approx 8 months

Our daughter Katie was still a babe in arms when I introduced her to primroses, and as she got older she was tasked with carefully cutting tiny posies for the table, often displayed in petite glass salt shakers or diminutive vases found in thrift stores. When we moved to the United States in 1996 I grew these understated wildflowers from seed so as to still be able to enjoy them each spring, preferring them to the psychedelic primroses that were apparently favored by American stores and nurseries.

A posie of memories

I picked a few blooms and brought them inside to look for a suitable vase, eventually settling on this pretty cobalt blue jug that Mum used to display in her "special" cabinet. The "crackle glass" is so pretty and like Mum, blue is my favorite color. She would have approved.

Love this photo of my Mum peering through her neighbors flowering Amelanchier. Sums her up perfectly! Photo credit: Sylvia Ann Ramsay

As I tucked the short stems into the vase I confess to shedding a tear or two as I remembered Mum. Its hard to believe she has been gone for over four years now.  I'm so thankful not only for all the love that she showered on me every single day, but also for her legacy of teaching me to appreciate the little things. To look for the good. And to pass that on to others – including you. Do you have a special "legacy flower"? Tell me about it. Big group hug x

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I'm a serious plant-aholic. In other words I'm usually covered in a layer or two of soil, I drive everywhere with a large tarp for impromptu plant purchases and I'm truly passionate about sharing the joys of gardening.

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