The flowers we make part of our lives are often chosen because they evoke powerful memories of the people and places which have shaped our lives. In one of my first posts, Reminders of my life in the south…, I included a couple of Camellia japonica photos from a small collection I have in my current garden specifically for cut flowers. Even though they are planted in what amounts to a service area on the far side of my home and virtually unseen in bloom except from the bedroom windows I anxiously await their buds every year because they remind me of a my wonderful historic neighborhood in Georgia which was home to literally thousands of mature camellias, many over 50 year old and a dozen feet tall.
Camellia blossoms hold another, even older, memory for me. My mother had a wide shallow blue glass bowl in which she floated camellia flowers. My parents never owned a home and, being a military family, moved in June every three years just like clockwork. I can’t even pinpoint in which of our many rental homes we had a large number of camellias but I can close my eyes and see that beautiful blue glass bowl in the center of the dining room table filled with blossoms as if were yesterday. Although I had probably not even seen the blue glass bowl in 45 or 50 years when my mother died in 2008, it was the only thing I really wanted from her. It was no where to be found.
So now I cut camellia blooms every year to float in my own wide, shallow bowl. Clear, not blue, but beautiful still. Memories from long ago and not so long ago as well as those we are creating for our families and friends long after we’re gone are all happy by-products from our lives as gardeners.
What flowers hold special memories for you?