We’ve had a few 60 degrees days mixed in with the 20s here in Ohio, and the most treasured plants I own are beginning to poke tender leaves out of the ground.
These plants aren’t a fancy hybrid, nor did they cost me tons of money. They were free. This flower, however, is one I have carried from home to home. I’ve even excluded it on the sale contracts of the houses I’ve owned.
Why would I do something like that, you ask?
Because the origins of this humble plant came from the gardens of one of the homes I grew up in. This is a flower my mother carried from house to house when she was alive. Because I love this flower, I followed her lead when I reached adulthood. There are ancestors of this plant in at least four states in the USA, and in the gardens of countless friends to whom I’ve given starts. In fact, when I lived in Texas, my mother dug up some tubers, mailed them to me in November, and when I planted them they popped through the soil and bloomed in January!
Until recently, I had never seen a plant quite like this.
Are you dying to know what it is?
It’s an orange daylily.
But this one, aside from sentimental value, is special because it has layers upon layers of petals.
These daylilies normally bloom around the 4th of July and go into August. But something special happened in its bloom cycle a few years ago. The year my brother-in-law died unexpectedly in June, the flowers burst into blossom a couple of days before he passed. In all the years I’ve had these flowers they have NEVER bloomed before July 4. That year I cut three vases of blooms to place around my brother-in-law’s casket— for myself, my sister, and my daughter to honor his memory.
You might think this silly, but I believe Mom was there, too, honoring my brother-in-law’s memory through the flowers she had treasured for so many years.
Both my daughter and my sisters have Mom’s daylilies in their yards. My nieces and nephews will probably inherit a start of the daylilies when they own their homes. I know as long as a single family member has these flowers the memory of my mother, and eventually me, will never die. Can a gardener have any greater legacy? I think not.
What about you? Is there a special flower that your loved ones will remember you by someday? I’d love to know the story.
Gardener/writer Catherine Castle has been gardening all her life in pots, plots, and wherever she can find dirt. Her favorite thing about gardening is the satisfaction she gets from a well-weeded flowerbed. When she’s not gardening she’s writing sweet and inspirational romance. You can learn more about her at right here on this blog.
To view additional garden posts on this blog search for the category Through the Garden Gates.