Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heirloom Gardening and Plants

I come from a long line of gardeners. I remember helping my great-grandmother and grandparents in their gardens as well as spending hours in our large family garden at home. It was something we all did as children - it was expected. When the seed catalog came my mom always ordered the childrens seed packet so that we could plant our own garden and it was looked forward to all spring. Now, I admit weeding was not my favorite and my mom admits that as a child it wasn't her or her sibling's favorite either. But my mom and I find it interesting that despite our dislikes of the "forced" weeding the likes and joys of gardening are what came through. She and her sister and two brothers all garden. My brother and I both garden (my brother even made it a career as a landscaper). My 9 year old son has requested his own garden this year and proved quite the little gardener already as he prepared the soil and planted lettuce, carrots and peas. I hope his love grows.

As I walked through my gardens yesterday I was struck by the history that was already visible there. Not just in the lessons I hope to pass on to my boys as we garden together but in the plants that have come to me from other family members. I am the third generation to harvest raspberries from the canes in my 2 raspberry patches.

My great-grandmother had them all along the end of her large farm garden and my grandparents have them all along one side of their large suburban garden (which takes up most of their backyard). I am already seeing lots of runners (above) so I am hoping that I will be able to pass some on to others this spring helping others make memories and heirlooms.

I also have a rose (below) and fern leaf peony that came from my great-grandmothers yard, then my grandmothers yard, then my mothers yard and now my yard. I love the history to that.

There are also some daisies, coneflower and horseradish plants that are second hand so to speak but came to me via a small town plant sale. Another families heirlooms that are now new heirlooms for my family. I love those sales where each gardener has their story about their plant and the story then becomes yours as you add the plant to your garden.

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