Do certain plants still trigger strong childhood memories when you garden with them every day?
Pam/Digging asked this question in response to a comment I left on a post she wrote about her childhood garden.
The short answer is yes.
Though the plants I have in my garden are familiar to me, since I’ve known them all my life, several of them always remind me of my childhood.
When the lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) blooms, I recall sunny Sunday afternoons visiting my grandmother. She had a colony of lily of the valley by the side of her house, and when they bloomed we always picked bouquets of them. Even the smallest child can easily pick these flowers, and we picked lots of them. Grandma always seemed pleased when we presented them to her and would set them in vases on her dining room table.
Occasionally, we would also pick violets at the same time, to create a mixed bouquet like this one.
Now that’s a bouquet from my childhood, and I like to enjoy one like it every year.
I have two colonies of lily of the valley in my own garden, started from plants I got from one of my sisters. But when I went to my aunt’s house last spring to see her garden, I dug up one of her lily of the valley, even though I already had plenty, because hers came from my grandmother. I potted it up and overwintered it, and now I need to give it a home. But I don’t want to put it with the other lily of the valley. I want to put it in its own spot, so I’ll always know which one came from my grandmother’s garden. I just need more shade.
(A special note to a couple of my sisters who are going to read this and ask “why didn’t you get one for me”? I don’t know why not because our aunt has plenty of it. It was hot the day I dug them up, and it was almost an after thought, because I already had lily of the valley. But then I couldn’t resist because these were Grandma’s. We can go back for more. Our aunt is generous with passalong plants!)