Friday, March 27, 2009

Lilac Memories!

Submitted by LindaI was privileged to grow up in Oregon in a home with a "stay-at-home" mom whose thumb was truly green. She embodied the term "domestic goddess." Mom cooked, cleaned, sewed, played organ at church, and spent hours nurturing plants and coaxing seeds to grow. In Oregon we experienced seasons, and I fondly remember the first crocuses and daffodils of the Spring- they were so welcome after a long gray winter. In early Spring, when it was too cold to plant outside, Mom would plant hundreds of seeds in peat pots and dixie cups in a little greenhouse my dad built for her. I'm guessing that this picture of Mom in her greenhouse was taken in the early 80s.

In the background you can see the hanging fuchsias, who were kept comfy in and
warm in the greenhouse during the cold winter months.

I remember hurrying home from elementary school to help with planting. One year she gave me my own little plot, where I planted cosmos and zinnias. Mom was inspired by beautiful gardens, and became very knowledgeable about all varieties of flora. She spent time during most seasons changing out the old plants, and planning so that new flowers kept coming. She despised pests who ate her flowers, and was known to go out in the dark with a flashlight to catch the cutworms or slugs who had the nerve to nibble at her flowers.

I'm not sure if I inherited her green thumb, because I rarely spend enough time working at it. But I did develop a love of flowers, thanks to Mom's influence. I don't have the time to spend in my yard (or maybe I don't make the time), but Craig is usually willing to plant whatever bedding plants I buy (often after asking Mom's advice on what to plant!)

Outside the bedroom window of my childhood home was a large lilac tree. In the Spring when it bloomed, Mom would cut big boughs of blooms and bring their scent and beauty inside. For several years, I've been wanting to plant my own lilac bush. Then I read in a magazine that there are now varieties of lilacs that don't need a cold winter to flourish. Off I went to my local Armstrong's Nursery and Craig planted my "Lavender Lady" lilac.

When I bought it, it was just a bunch of twigs (it's the plant on the left).
Within a week or two it looked like this:

Now, a couple of weeks later, it looks like this!
The photo at the top was also taken on this day.

I've cut a few stems to bring in, and the smell takes me right back to my childhood. The great news is that my "Lavender Lady" should grow to become a big bush!

1 comment:

Sally said...

That's beautiful. When we moved here we had a bunch of bushes that turned out to be lilacs. We had to transplant them and they haven't done so the scent. So glad you could plant one in So Cal.