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13 September, 2009

Mosaic Monday/Outdoor Wednesday...or...Heirloom Flowers

page Today I am sharing something that is very special to me…my heirloom flowers! These are flowers that came from my grandmother and mother’s yard or garden. They are not fancy, but have very special meaning to me. Let me show them to you and tell you their stories!

IMG_7832Several years ago, while visiting my elderly aunt, I asked her for something…anything…from my grandmother’s garden. You see, my aunt inherited my grandmother’s home and what was once a beautiful flower garden behind it. It was January and all that we could find was a clump of grape hyacinths. I happily dug them up and took them home with me.

IMG_5738 It took two years, but they finally bloomed this Spring!! What a wonderful surprise to see these flowers peeking up at me from the pot! But the best surprise came last Spring, when two tiny plants appeared among the hyacinths. I decided to let them grow to see what they were and…

IMG_1540 …after some research, I realized they were Rose of Sharon shrubs! It is not a rose at all, but a very hardy cousin of the hibiscus. Then I remembered that was how my aunt had identified the plants growing near the grape hyacinths. And best of all, there were two of them. I felt that they were very special gifts from my for me and one for my sister!! So…I potted them separately and watched them grow from little sprouts to big, tall plants. I gave this one to my sister, since it was the only one that bloomed last year.

IMG_7824 This Spring, I planted mine in the ground, hoping that it would bloom, too. What a wonderful surprise when it did!! Mine was this lovely shade of purple!! I did some more research and found out that sometimes the seedlings will be a different color from the parent plant. Don’t tell my sister, but I think I got the prettier one!! lol

IMG_1522 I also want to show you my ginger lilies. I dug these up from my mom’s yard the night before we left her home for the last time and put it up for sale. I have had them planted in my yard for seven summers now and they never disappoint. They have the most fragrant and delicate flowers. People walking by my house have stopped to ask me where that wonderful smell was coming from! I wish I had a scratch and sniff blog so I could share the fragrance with you, but imagine gardenias and you will be close! They also attract hummingbird moths in the evening. I want to photograph them for another post, but they have not shown up yet this year.

IMG_7837 I love the way the lilies spread…almost above the ground. When I cut into them to divide and share them with my sister and my daughter, I discovered why they are called ginger lilies. Not only do the rhizomes look like ginger, they smell like it, too!

IMG_7825 It doesn’t bloom, but I also wanted to show you this cast iron plant. It came from my mother’s yard, but was originally planted at my godfather’s house. I love its bright green leaves and dense foliage! It’s a very slow spreader and really prefers more shade than I have at my current home. I also had it planted along a shady fence at my previous home and it was a show stopper!

I am sure that all of these plants are available in catalogs, but I love the idea of “pass-along’’ plants that come from the garden of a relative or friend. That makes them so much more special!!

Thanks for coming by! Please head on over to Mary’s wonderful blog Little Red House for Mosaic Monday to see one of her beautiful mosaics and to find out who else is playing along this week.

Outdoor_Wednesday_logo_thumb[1] Then stop by A Southern Daydreamer to pay a visit to our own Georgia girl, Susan for Outdoor Wednesday. You’ll be treated to her beautiful gardens and find a list of more fabulous blogs with lots of amazing places to visit and things to see. See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. What gorgeous photos! Wish I could do that. And, almost makes me wish I didn't live in the semi-arid climate that is Northern California:).

  2. Beautiful photos! I love the fact that these plants came from your mother and grandmother's gardens. T

  3. Lovely flowers Debbie and love it that they came from your Dear Ones gardens.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  4. How wonderful! Loved your plants and the stories behind them. I have just one plant that I have moved and moved that came from my parent's yard - it is a Valerian. Wish I had more. Have a great week. Sally

  5. These are beautiful Debbie, and the stories behind them even more so. I love the Ginger Lilies, have never heard of them. And you know how I love Rose of Sharon. I may have to look into the cast iron plant. The majority of our yard is full shade, so this is something that I might be able to use. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures and stories. Hugs, Kat

  6. Your blossoms are gorgeous but the stories behind them make them all the more precious. Absolutely delightful post today! Thanks for sharing ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  7. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing a wonderful story with us. Is the Rose of Sharon related to the hibiscus plant? Our neighbors yard had what I can only describe as a wall of hibiscus. We also had lots and lots of ginger in our yard. They make beautiful and fragrant leis.

    XOXO, Bonnie

  8. Love your photos and the stories that go with them.

  9. Oh, Debbie, such a sentimental post. I thought the purple flowers were hibiscus. Good luck with the heirlooms, and I hope they will last a lifetime! Have a great week, and hugs to your feline staff!

  10. Just simply beautiful, Debbie.

    We have a few heirlooms from J's Aunt Ruth. Our daughters have their grandmother's snowball bush. Sweet plants with sweet memories.

  11. I love it when you have plants passed to you and they thrive! What beautiful pics, I so wish blogs had scratch n sniffs! Of course then I could never visit a food blog or I'de gain a 100 lbs. Lol. Cindy

  12. Oh, how wonderful that you have such living memories to grow! thanks so much for sharing your lovely plants at Mosaic Monday. :)

  13. I really love your post and mosaic.My father gave me peonies from their garden. They came from his father. I still have them and treasure all the memories they bring. Sharon

  14. Debbie,
    The flowers are beautiful. And I love they came from your loved ones gardens. Makes them even more special. I wish now that I had taken some flowers or plants from my Grandma's yard before she sold her house. But I was young & stupid. Thanks for visiting my blog & leaving me a comment.

  15. Oh Debbie, I love all the pictures I've seen of your beautiful yard and your plants are just gorgeous. What a thrill to be able to have some of your Aunt's and your Mom's plants. That is truly special. You need to hop on over to my post and sign up for my 100th post giveaway. I have something a little frenchy, sort of. Hugs, Marty

  16. Debbie,

    Your heirloom flowers and plants are gorgeous!! What wonderful treasures you have to enjoy and share with your family. The ginger lily is amazing. We don't have anything like this in the north.

    Thank you for sharing your lovely photo images.

    Debbykay @ Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm

  17. Gorgeous shots of gorgeous flowers, pretty mosaics!

  18. Debbie, these are wonderful! I love "pass along plants". I don't know the ginger lilly, but I'm going to see if I can find it here. The Rose of Sharon should bloom for you all summer. We had one at our previous house and it bloomed constantly. Thanks for sharing the sweet story of these beautiful plants.~ Sarah

  19. Your flowers are beautiful, Debbie and so special especially because they came from special people...Christine

  20. Not fancy? You better look again!LOL! They are beautiful. And all the more special since they came from special gardens.

    I really wish I had a green thumb. My mom does, but I didn't inherit it.


  21. What a wonderful idea. Having all these beautiful plants that came from your loved ones gardens. All these pictures look so good in your mosaic. Have a nice Monday

  22. Hello Debbie. Great photos and mosaic!
    Have a lovely week.

  23. Hi Debbie, how nice to meet your blog!!! what wonderful pictures of your garden, or I may say what a lovely garden you have.
    I´ll come back...
    María Cecilia, from Chile

  24. They're beautiful Debbie and oh so special! ♥ diane

  25. What a wonderful mosaic! I love grape hyacinths and my mom doesn't, so when my mom moved into my grandmother's home she more than happy to let me dig up every one I could find... How one could not love any flower, I don't know, but especially the Grape Hyacinths!

  26. I have the cast iron plants. So sturdy and gorgeous green leaves! Your flowers are so, so pretty. And the memories, they'll last forever.

  27. "Pass alongs"are wonderful! I have so many things from my Mom's garden. I have always loved Rose of Sharon but don't have one. My neighbor does though. I wonder if they put up little shoots next to the Mama plant? I will have to check it out.

  28. What a wonderful blog! I loved the stories and the pictures. I think I have to become a follower.


  29. Ooh, I love hibiscus! :) Lovely. Happy week to you too. ;)

  30. Hi Debbie...what a lovely post...and such a nice rememberance of your grandmother...We used to have gorgeous Iris that my dad planted at our home in NJ...he was always so proud of them....when we bought the house from them when they moved to Florida my idiot father-in-law came over one day and said they looked like weeds and pulled them all out by the roots...No more Iris.....but now everytime I see a picture of them I think of my father...

  31. Debbie, this is so special! The flowers are beautiful, but the memories of them blooming in your mother's and grandmother's gardens are just wonderful! If you have a minute, and if you aren't already doing it, please stop by my blog and get information to send a card to Amy as soon as possible. Thanks so much. laurie

  32. Loved seeing all your plants and flowers. The best part is the stories about them. Most interesting and so glad you shared.

  33. I feel the same way you do about plants we inherit. I think they are hardier and more tolerant of neglect or poor conditions. They've stood the test of time. Thank you for sharing these and the story behind them. I loved that you got the Rose of Sharon plants as a bonus and that you and your sister have two different but unique colors.
    Mama Bear

  34. Gorgeous flowers and beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  35. Hi dear Debbie
    When I saw your Rose of Sharon shrub it took my breath away...
    I just got back from visiting my mom in Windsor, around 8 hours away, and I also visited my Aunt who is in a home and will be turning 95 in Feb. It was the first time we were able to take her outside in the beautiful sunshine. She is in and out so to speak, and she pointed to your flower and said..."pretty". I also took a picture of it and will post it soon.
    So when I came to visit, there is was.
    It's been a rough week. My mom, my aunt & last night my 55 year old sister had a mini stroke... we were in ER for 12 hours...I'm tired, but it feels good to be home with my dogs and hubby.
    Sorry this was so long.
    Love Claudie

  36. "Pass alongs" are the best kind of plant! I have a few that I cherish. Those Rose of Sharon will send out lots of babies so those are easy to pass along. I got two from my daughter's piano teacher and she had made a lovely walkway flanked by Rose of Sharon. It really was a pretty walk when they were in bloom!

    Loved all your photos!


  37. You sound quite lucky with your plants, Debbie. If they had been mine, they never would have come up!! lol!!

    How lucky you are to have plants from your mother and grandmother's homes. I love the idea of sharing plants but no one ever shares with me!! Seriously. My mother did not care for gardening and some of my neighbers might think me rude if I suggested some trading of plants.

    I love the ginger lily. I do recognize the rhizhomes. I wonder what they tastes like grated a bit. And I love Rose of Sharon. We had one but I think it was in too much shade. I think it was nice that you gave the first plant to bloom to your sisiter. Now THAT is sharing!! :-)

    Happy OW, Debbie!


  38. Debbie, enfin, j'arrive! Quelles jolies fleurs! Ma belle-mère a un beau jardin et je dois prendre quelques petits exemples de ses fleurs. J'aime surtout l'histoire à propos de chaque fleur - et évidemment tu as le pouce vert! Linda

  39. What a special post ... so lovely, so full of emotion, just wonderful!

  40. How wonderful to share the beauty of them being from your Mom's home. It makes them more special for sure. You are so right Debbie!
    They are all just beautiful. Your photography and new camera are excellent as well. ~Lovely.

    Thank you very much for your inspiring words of support and encouragement. I can't even express how much it means to me to have such sweet blog friends like you. I was so embarrassed to post that but I felt I had to share even I helped just one other blog friend. Being married to a Marine I really had NO excuses. Well things are different this past week around here and I am already noticing changes. I'm so grateful it's all working. ~Whew! You can do it too! We will encourage each other.

    Blessings to you my friend, ~Melissa :)

    PS Say Hello to that precious staff from me and Chestnut.

  41. Heirloom flowers? How unique! This is a beautiful and touching post!


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie