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Plants that you grow with Special Memories

 
garden master
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Most people have a special memory tied to something they plant, be it a fruit tree, berry, or flower.

I have fond memories that I think of when growing cucumbers. As a young boy I was so proud to bring in my small harvest of cucumbers to my mother, who loved to fix cucumbers with our meals. I was glad to be able to contribute a small part towards our meals. I think of those memories every time I see a cucumber growing!

Is there a plant that's special to you or brings back fond memories when you grow or see it?
 
pollinator
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Good sentimental or bad? 😀

I still twitch when I see phlox.  My mom was big on ornamental flowers, but didnt like the weeding part to keep up the look.  Many a punishment involved weeding and I particularly hated weeding phlox.  It looked like a weed most of the year anyway so it all seemed pointless.  Then I had the evil thought to pull part of it up "accidently" and claim I thought it was a weed. That did NOT end well.

Anyway phlox does bring back memories!
 
pollinator
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Geraniums - I always loved the scent of the leaves as a kid

Dusty Miller (Artemisia stelleriana) - My grandma always pointed it out by name when I was young, so I thought she just named the bush in her garden after me - and now I grow it in her memory instead

And now I'll be planting a Deodar Cedar or Sugar Pine in memory of my grandfather...not sure where yet...
 
pollinator
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Blackberries - we had them trellised alongside the back fence of my childhood home. I would spend hours out there picking and eating, it was rare any made it inside.

Marigolds - my mother always lined the vegetable patch with them and my brother and I would catch and release the skippers that loved them.
 
Steve Thorn
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Tina Hillel wrote:Good sentimental or bad? 😀



Either way. I changed the title to better reflect that.

 
gardener
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For me this one is a toughie, I remember when I was four, helping my grandparents plant their garden (2 acres) I was put in charge of planting cantaloupe, watermelon, crook neck yellow squash, pole beans, bush beans, acorn squash and cucumbers.
I also remember "I like Ike" but that's another tale that tells how old I am. Now that I'm strolling along memories lane I come to my most favorite memory, planting a new strawberry patch, I got to pick out some of the varieties that went into that patch so, yeah that is a very fond memory.
 
pollinator
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My mom always loved crocus and daffodils. We planted a bunch together for her birthday and I have planted more in her memory.

Blackberries are a big one for me too. We had lots of bushes and froze a bunch every year and then made pie or cheesecake or had them on pancakes or ice cream until they ran out.  Have to have bushes on the property.

My gramma grew irises and snapdragons.  I remember her showing me how to squeeze the flowers of the latter to make the mouths open. Planting those this year too.

On the other hand, I won't try cabbage.  We always ended up with moths and worms in them. We would run all over chasing the moths with racquets to kill them. That was sort of fun though ..
 
master pollinator
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I am growing Roses in memory of my grandmother who grew them.  I have a Bearded Iris that I treasure because it was given me by our nice neighbor across the street when my husband and I lived in Van Nuys, CA.  I call this Iris "Logan" after the neighbor, actor Logan Ramsey.

 
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I have two:

Red Huckleberries--

As a kid I LOVED picking these. My neighbors and I once spent hours picking the little red berries to make into juice. Having no idea how to make juice, we mashed the berries up and added water...and then sugar...and then more sugar. It really wasn't that great, as it was pulpy (we didn't know to strain it!), but I still remember holding that little cup of "juice" and drinking it next to the garage sink that we used to fill up our cups).

As a I grew older, I became a connoisseur of huckleberries. There were probably 12 different bushes on our property, and they all tasted differently. Some were tiny (half the size of a pencil eraser) and seedy. Others were three times the size, less seedy, juicy and sweet. I would ponder whether it was the sunlight, or the stumps they were growing on that changed their flavor. Knowing more about plant breeding, I'm thinking it was probably largely inherited traits, and there was just a TON of diversity on my property!


Hydrangeas--

About two weeks after I met my now-husband, he came up to me with a little bunch of purple hydrangea flowers. He said, "You know a lot about plants--can you identify these for me?" I said, "These are hydrangeas. They're usually blue and my mom has some growing in her garden"....and then I handed the flowers back to him (because, clearly, no one would ever give me flowers for any reason other than to ID them and hand them back). He replied, "They're for you." The poor gears in my brain had NO IDEA what to do about that, so I gave the oh-so-elequant reposnce of, "Oh." and put them on the nearby table.

Of course, I saved the flowers, but he thought I didn't like him and so stopped coming to church where we met. Thankfully, he came back a year latter, and we started hanging out and then dating, and the rest--as they say--is history. We of course had hydrangeas as our wedding flowers, and every 5 years we buy a new hydrangea bush to plant in our garden. I look forward to so many hydrangea bushes that I don't even know where to plant them!
 
Steve Thorn
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:Geraniums - Dusty Miller (Artemisia stelleriana) - My grandma always pointed it out by name when I was young, so I thought she just named the bush in her garden after me - and now I grow it in her memory instead



That's really special!
 
pollinator
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When I was a teenager (not so long ago) a family that fostered me grew goumi berries. They’re special to me because that was a very special summer for me, and a lot of the people that were in my life then aren’t in it any longer. Rhubarb and swiss chard were grown by a neighbor during that time, as well as nasturtiums, so I always think fondly on those too.
 
Steve Thorn
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Stacy Witscher wrote:Blackberries - we had them trellised alongside the back fence of my childhood home. I would spend hours out there picking and eating, it was rare any made it inside.



We had them too , and not many of ours made it inside either!
 
Steve Thorn
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:For me this one is a toughie, I remember when I was four, helping my grandparents plant their garden (2 acres) I was put in charge of planting cantaloupe, watermelon, crook neck yellow squash, pole beans, bush beans, acorn squash and cucumbers.
I also remember "I like Ike" but that's another tale that tells how old I am. Now that I'm strolling along memories lane I come to my most favorite memory, planting a new strawberry patch, I got to pick out some of the varieties that went into that patch so, yeah that is a very fond memory.



That's awesome they had you helping in the garden so young. I bet those are special memories!
 
Steve Thorn
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Sonja Draven wrote:On the other hand, I won't try cabbage.  We always ended up with moths and worms in them. We would run all over chasing the moths with racquets to kill them. That was sort of fun though ..



It's always nice when a chore can be turned into a fun game!
 
Steve Thorn
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I am growing Roses in memory of my grandmother who grew them.  I have a Bearded Iris that I treasure because it was given me by our nice neighbor across the street when my husband and I lived in Van Nuys, CA.  I call this Iris "Logan" after the neighbor, actor Logan Ramsey.



That is so neat!
 
Steve Thorn
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I have two:

Red Huckleberries--

As a kid I LOVED picking these. My neighbors and I once spent hours picking the little red berries to make into juice. Having no idea how to make juice, we mashed the berries up and added water...and then sugar...and then more sugar. It really wasn't that great, as it was pulpy (we didn't know to strain it!), but I still remember holding that little cup of "juice" and drinking it next to the garage sink that we used to fill up our cups).

As a I grew older, I became a connoisseur of huckleberries. There were probably 12 different bushes on our property, and they all tasted differently. Some were tiny (half the size of a pencil eraser) and seedy. Others were three times the size, less seedy, juicy and sweet. I would ponder whether it was the sunlight, or the stumps they were growing on that changed their flavor. Knowing more about plant breeding, I'm thinking it was probably largely inherited traits, and there was just a TON of diversity on my property!



That's awesome there was so much diversity right in one spot!


Hydrangeas--

About two weeks after I met my now-husband, he came up to me with a little bunch of purple hydrangea flowers. He said, "You know a lot about plants--can you identify these for me?" I said, "These are hydrangeas. They're usually blue and my mom has some growing in her garden"....and then I handed the flowers back to him (because, clearly, no one would ever give me flowers for any reason other than to ID them and hand them back). He replied, "They're for you." The poor gears in my brain had NO IDEA what to do about that, so I gave the oh-so-elequant reposnce of, "Oh." and put them on the nearby table.

Of course, I saved the flowers, but he thought I didn't like him and so stopped coming to church where we met. Thankfully, he came back a year latter, and we started hanging out and then dating, and the rest--as they say--is history. We of course had hydrangeas as our wedding flowers, and every 5 years we buy a new hydrangea bush to plant in our garden. I look forward to so many hydrangea bushes that I don't even know where to plant them!



That is so special and neat!
 
Steve Thorn
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James Landreth wrote:When I was a teenager (not so long ago) a family that fostered me grew goumi berries. They’re special to me because that was a very special summer for me, and a lot of the people that were in my life then aren’t in it any longer. Rhubarb and swiss chard were grown by a neighbor during that time, as well as nasturtiums, so I always think fondly on those too.



I've never tried goumi berries, that's very neat!
 
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Today's post is brought to you by the letter G.

Gooseberries: I moved into my house in the fall 9 years ago. It has a couple gooseberry bushes in the backyard. I had never seen gooseberries before and knew nothing about them. I associate the gooseberries with becoming a mom because they were ripe and ready for picking a week after I brought my first baby home from the hospital. Every year when they ripen I think back to my first week of parenthood.

Gourds: When I was in fourth grade my parents let me pick two plants for our garden from the seed catalogue for the first time. This continued through my senior year of high school. I always picked the strangest plants I could find - loofah sponges, giant sunflowers, white pumpkins, you get the idea. Anyway, that first year I chose gourds because I couldn't believe that you could actually grow a container, and I was fascinated by all the shapes they came in. I haven't grown gourds in a long time, but every time I see them they make me appreciate the love of gardening that my parents instilled in me. I actually need some birdhouses - maybe it's time to plant some birdhouse gourds.
 
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Garlic:

My Uncle, Aunt, two sets of Cousins and Dad had an unofficial competition regarding who had the best seasons crop of garlic.

We were in Sydney and the others were dispersed northwards to Brisbane - about 900km, so the climactic and soil conditions varied significantly between the 'competitors'.

It's important because all of them except one set of Cousins are now dead.

Tomatoes:

Similar to above but we also fought against the summer sun - trying to keep the bushes alive and not wilting, and hopefully picking the best fruit before they cooked on the vines.

Hydrangeas:

My Mum STILL harasses me about making the bloody things turn blue - I simply don't care. They're not suited to the conditions and it's a full time job just keeping them alive in summer.

Mulberries:

Still have the original tree my Grandparents planted almost 100 years ago.

As a kid we ate so many of them: raw, stewed, made into pies and jam. The chooks ate so many early season ones that their egg shells turned a pretty mauve colour, but towards the end of the season even they had enough and let them to decompose on the grass.

Now I can only look at them - the thought of eating one makes me heave!


Since we were putting in all the effort, Dad and I agreed on one major gardening rule: if you can't eat it, it's a waste of time.
 
pollinator
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every gardenia reminds me of my mother, who had a giant gardenia that had belonged to her mother (who died young and I only met once that I remember). The gardenia has since shuffled off this mortal coil but I now have my own, and I often take pics of the flowers and send them to my mother.

My other grandmother had mulberry trees in her urban yard and used to constantly curse them out for the pink bird poop that got all over everything. The trees were cut down in the late 80s and now that neighborhood in the greater NYC area has no trees whatsoever. But where I live I have a giant mulberry in the property next door that gives me fruit every year, and I just planted three small trees of my own for when that tree goes (it has a parasitic vine and the owners don't care for it, so it won't be around too much longer). I eat a lot of mulberries, and always think of my Gram (who would never have DREAMED of eating mulberries, she was a TV dinner kind of city slicker and anything "from outside" was only good for throwing away).
 
F Agricola
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Tereza Okava wrote:every gardenia reminds me of my mother, who had a giant gardenia that had belonged to her mother (who died young and I only met once that I remember). The gardenia has since shuffled off this mortal coil but I now have my own, and I often take pics of the flowers and send them to my mother.

My other grandmother had mulberry trees in her urban yard and used to constantly curse them out for the pink bird poop that got all over everything. The trees were cut down in the late 80s and now that neighborhood in the greater NYC area has no trees whatsoever. But where I live I have a giant mulberry in the property next door that gives me fruit every year, and I just planted three small trees of my own for when that tree goes (it has a parasitic vine and the owners don't care for it, so it won't be around too much longer). I eat a lot of mulberries, and always think of my Gram (who would never have DREAMED of eating mulberries, she was a TV dinner kind of city slicker and anything "from outside" was only good for throwing away).




Gardenia's remind me of Christmas - that's when they bloom here.

Yep, growing mulberries and having the washing out on the clothes line is incompatible - I'm sure the bloody birds do it on purpose, their aim is just too coincidental!


 
pollinator
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Wild strawberries.
The house I grew up in was my Grandmothers and it's flower beds were infested with wild strawberries, I loved chasing around after them. I also remember after the great storm the local woods were totally covered in them for one year, but one year only, after that the raspberries and grass took over, and then it was replanted in trees. I took a pair of runners from her house just before she died and planted them here, that was two years ago and we  now have several square meters of them, I will be taking a few with me to the new place.

I would say Blackberries but I do not grow them. We always picked them wild, they seem a waste of garden space (and a prickly menace) when they grow so well elsewhere! But I remember picking carrier bags full with my mother so she could make wine.
 
gardener
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Lavender and runner beans remind me of my darling Mum and Dad. I miss them so much. Nasturtiums for my Granny. We used to love looking for caterpillars amongst the leaves. It never occurred that they were pests. Chestnuts and blackberries for my best friend of 55 years, Jo. Summer and autumn days out collecting then feasting on our finds.
 
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Peony. I ripped the peony out of the pot splitting it in half. My Mom was.....less than pleased. The fact that it's still alive has amazed us all. She always remembers how I tried to kill the peony.
 
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The fragrance of lilacs. My mom would send me out to cut some from the large bush at the end of the barn. We would put them on the kitchen table. That was way up North in upstate NY. They don't do well in NC where I live now. Once in a while I come across one in bloom and it takes me back... decades!
 
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In the spring and early summer, the air here is perfumed by the abundant lilac. On one of my parent's visits, my mom told me about the fond memories she has of taking lilac to all of the family graves every Memorial Day. The lilac in her area was always in bloom in time to do so.

My grandma always had peas and strawberries growing next to her and Grandpa's house. Whenever we'd visit, she'd let us kids go out and pick them. The strawberries never made it into the house, and we would eat a fair share of the peas before bringing some in. Then grandma would give us a couple of bowls and we'd sit at her kitchen table and shell peas while she and mom talked.

My parents owned an acre out near my high school (which was 20 minutes from our home). That one acre was almost completely covered in wild blackberry. Every summer, we would take 5 gallon buckets out to the property and pick blackberries until our fingers were stained purple. My sister and I would have to help each other carry our bucket to the car. We would bring our haul home and mom would make the best blackberry cobblers, pies, and jams. Of course we got to eat as many fresh blackberries as we could, too.

At the house, my dad had a small garden in the back corner of the backyard. He would grow the best tomatoes and eat them like an apple. He would sit at the table with a salt shaker and take a bite, then add a little salt to the exposed flesh of the tomato, repeating the process until he'd eastern the whole thing. Our family dog (a beautiful golden retriever named Holly) was a a highly skilled tomato thief. She would wait until they were perfectly ripe before she would take them. Dad would check on the tomatoes, decide one would need just another day to fully ripen, go out the next morning, and that tomato would be gone - snatched by Holly. It makes me laugh every time I think about that sneaky dog!
 
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when I was about eight, I dug up some day lilies from the woods near our house. I planted then near out back door. Over the years, my father always referred to them as my daylilies and would keep a piece of cardboard on the back door to track how many blossoms I had. after collage, when I live in NYC for 7 years, he would periodically call me to keep me up to date on my daylilies. In 2005 after he passed away and my mother sold the family home, I dug some up and brought them home with me to NH I still have them growing here (although they need to be divided) and they will always remind me of our childhood home. I also dug up some of my father's forsythia, which I have planted near the daylilies. This year we did some pruning, especially with the winter storm damaged limbs, and our rooting them. So we should have forsythia growing along our driveway soon.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
 
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My friend passed away a few years ago, he had the most beautiful yard that was the central meeting hub for the local community. He hosted happy hour every Friday afternoon at his pool with a potluck dinner. I was gifted seeds from his wild flowers and cuttings from his trees. Now every year when the poplars start to leaf out and the daisies pop their heads out, it reminds me of the many hours I spent, surrounded by good people and good plants in his yard.
 
pollinator
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The House Tree...,,,

Most places I've moved to, the first thing I planted was a tree seedling. It became our symbolic house tree. Over the years it's been a redbud, flowering cherry, witch hazel, dawn sequoia, pink dogwood. Here in Hawaii, it is a coconut tree.
 
master steward
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My family grows the variety of Egyptian onion that was grown by my great-grandfather. He died before I was born. His descendants pretty much plant it into the yard of every house that they move into.
 
Ever since I found this suit I've felt strange new needs. And a tiny ad:
Hope in a World of Crisis - Water Cycle Restoration
https://permies.com/t/118080/Hope-World-Crisis-Water-Cycle
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