Bee Balm

Last year I bought this bee balm on a whim (and full price) at our local big-box home store.  I had been eyeing it up for months, and after the tag enticed me with “raspberry colored blooms” I snatched it up and excitedly planted it and waited. And waited, and waited.  The thing got taller, but never produced blooms last year.  I was thrilled when they came back this year, and even more thrilled as I was watering this morning to discover that they do, in fact, have raspberry tinged  blooms.  What an amazing surprise to start the first weekend in a while that JGL and I get to spend together.

Happy Friday!

Start the show!

The clematis show, that is!  The first few blooms have opened up on the vines by they lamp post, and the other’s I’m attempting to string up the side of the house are working on some buds of their own.  In about a week, I’m thinking our vines will be in full bloom and showcasing their glorious flowers.

Floral History

We live in a great neighborhood, hands down.  We’ve made some amazing friends here on our street over the years, and we are eternally grateful for that.

Today was a prime example of that–our across the street neighbors attend the same church as we do and before the service (which was, interestingly, about loving your neighbor) asked if we wanted any flowers from their back flower bed.  They have started to downsize some of their gardens, and have been looking for folks who would not only enjoy the plants, but appreciate where they came from as well.  So I toddled my way over after a quick lunch, and two hours later I made it back home to sort through the daffodils, black eyed Susans, forsythia, and several different lilies.  I especially loved that the majority of the plants had made their way down from my home turf of New England–some were given as gifts, some had made their way down tucked away in a suitcase.

The forsythia story (which were the ones smuggled down in the suitcase) is my favorite simple because the majority of the forsythia in our neighborhood came from those original three plants.  How cool is that?!

And this all got me thinking–yes, JGL and I have certainly bought plants from big box stores and gardening magazines, but my favorite plants are the ones that have a story behind them–like Cathy Riverknighter’s irises, or the “Mr. Eds” Grampa propagated over 40 years ago, or Rusty’s Widow’s Teardrops, or C’s white flox.  These are the plants that I’ve told JGL that if we move we’re digging up, and the ones that I love sharing myself through a clipping or telling their stories.

Many families and communities have a rich oral history–stories passed down from generation to generation.  I’m so grateful to have such a rich “floral” history with my family and friends–not only the stories of how and where plants were acquired, but the plants themselves that serve as constant reminders of the generosity and importance of these relationships.