Monday, April 12, 2010

Cemetary Flowers

Until recently, I wasn't aware that these old-fashioned white iris were called "cemetary iris." I always thought that it was only the old-fashioned, hardy orange gladioli that were called by that name.

These "cemetary iris," along with the heirloom orange glads (and the old-fashioned daffodils about to go dormant), are located at my mom's house. Drive down any Southern two-lane road in spring and early summer, and you'll see their blooms pronounce old mailbox flower beds, old driveways—and, of course, old cemetaries.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Forgotten places, too

I found these 1940s fragments in an empty lot while walking my dogs.
(LaGrange, Georgia—April 2010)

What was that in the blog title about places?

Whenever I find old-fashioned plants just growing alongside the road (or in any other unexpected place), I look around for signs that people once lived near those plants. For example: daffodils aren't native to North America. All the daffs here—especially the old-timey varieties—were brought here by the first white settlers.

So when I'm hiking through the woods, across a pasture, or down a country road and see a big clump of happy yellow trumpets waving at me, I know they didn't just sprout legs and mosey on over to their current location. Somebody planted them in a deliberate, thoughtful manner, just to add some beauty and color to the site.

That somebody was likely a woman.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Welcome to Forgotten Plants & Places

Tiny jonquilla-type daffodils in clumps along the outline of a forgotten foundation.
(LaGrange, Georgia—late March 2010)

These tiny daffodils bloom on a vacant lot in LaGrange, Georgia, in an old "mill village" neighborhood. Never mind that the house was torn down years ago—these fragrant little flowers continue to spread around the edges of the lot, delineating where the house and front steps once stood, as if nothing ever happened.

On my drives through the Georgia countryside, I'm saddened to see large signs announcing new subdivisions and business parks. There's enough (manmade) ugly in the world. We need to hang on to all the natural beauty we can if we hope to reclaim our humanity.

I do this by dividing and/or transplanting old-fashioned, "passalong" plants from abandoned and vacant lots, old country home-places, and roadside ditches to new homes—sometimes my own yard, and sometimes others' yards. Keeping old garden plants alive is a link to our historical past.

Thanks for stopping in! It's so nice to have you along on this journey.