A conversation with a friend this morning reminded me how many tales can be told by the plants and things I have in the garden from the old baby bath from the 1950’s which has been passed down through the family and now has a lovely display of alpine plants growing in it to the mobile I made yesterday with odd bits from my craft store, everything has a story.
My garden is a place where dreams, memories and hopes are woven together in the language of flowers, to me it is a special place, maybe a bit wild and maybe I grow things that defy all logic, such as my Kiftsgate Roses, or things people would call weeds, but it is my creation, it wouldn’t win an prizes at Chelsea but the wildlife loves it and so do I.
I have plants that have come from old family homes, from the gardens of friends long passed, gifts given to mark special moments, seeds collected on holiday have grown into happy memories and plants that have traveled from house to house and have made their home here. We have fruit that grows in our garden and our families garden too, so we all enjoy a harvest from a common family source, like the rhubarb that came from my sister in laws garden in Okehampton back in the 1960’s – it has been split up and shared around the family, or Raspberries from a relative in Essex, we all share the emotional and physical nourishment at the same time and compare notes on how our crops are doing, such is the magic of plants. There are too many stories to tell in one post so I will share just one today and save the others for another time….
The flowers which I gave to my friend started this line of thought, they are Alstromeria, they came from tubers my husband was given by his brother in law who was the first registered grower of Alstromerias in the South West back in the 1960’s. The tubers came from Holland and he used to grow thousands of them in large glasshouses out at Stoke Gabriel. Ever 3 years they all had to be gassed to kill them and protect the tubers from changing the look of the plants by hybridisation, needless to say some always escaped this process and found their way into family gardens. The ones growing in our garden are from those escapees, they became a family flower much loved by my mother in law who was born in Peru, Alstromeria are also known as Peruvian Lilies, they were included in the flowers she had at her funeral and those at my father in laws funeral some 20 years later as he always kept some in memory of her. Today we have a large patch which provide us with beautiful cut flowers all summer long all from those original tubers from so long ago.