Sunday, April 20, 2008

Perennial Potluck

Photo by Alex

Common Ground
There are many similarities between blogging and gardening. Both are hobbies that almost anyone can do, you learn as you go ( or grow!), and can be shared with others. Both past-times also help preserve memories.

Certain plants and their scents can bring back long-ago experiences. To this day, Forsythia and Lilac bushes and Lilies of the Valley remind me of the first botanical treasures to flower each season at my childhood home. When my parents' home was sold, the new owners let me dig up some plants to relocate to my yard as momentos. This was mutually beneficial. I was able to hold on to some dear memories and made room for the new owners to relocate some of theirs.

Pot Luck

This Sunday, I took my middle son to a garden party. I was invited by a friend who owns a garden shop in an urban area. I was having a hard time finding Lily of the Valley plants and was going to have her special order some for me. Her neighborhood garden club was having a Perennial Potluck / Plant Exchange where gardeners would divide and bring plants from their garden to trade. She thought I might find some interesting plants.

I dug up a variety of perennials from our yard such as Day Lillies, Lamb's Ear, Lamium, and Sweet Pea to swap. My son was excited about finding some flowers for a small patch I designated as his special garden plot. I was hopeful of finding some shade loving plants. Neither one of us was disappointed. I even found Lily of the Valley plants that I was searching for!

Good Gardeners are Hard to Find

I was a bit surprised at the lower than expected turnout. In recent years, attendance at this garden party had been dropping. As the urban neighborhood is becoming more gentrified, it is attracting a younger, more affluent population. One of the club members speculated that her neighbors rather pay someone to tend to their landscape than to get their hands dirty.

She shared a recent anecdote about a neighbor who approached her to get the name of the lady who tended to her yard. As the neighbor was coming and going he would frequently see a woman hunched over planting, pruning and weeding at his neighbor's home. The man wanted to see if the gardener would be willing to work her magic on his property.

She gave his a bemused look and said, "That lady is me!"

A Memorable Time

My son brought his camera and took some photos of both gardeners and plants. When we came home, we excitedly showed off our loot to the rest of our family, and found the perfect home for each new friend. Not only did I find my sought after Lilies to help preserve my memory, I helped create a new one for my son.


Tara R. said...

That sounds like a wonderful day. My son likes to work in the yard with me sometimes. Last year we planted a salsa garden - tomatoes, peppers, onions - I think we'll do something similar this year too.

4funboys said...

sounds like a great mommy-date!

BTW... I had Tony make a bunch of egg sandwiches... just so I could put the egg shells around my snail infested plants!

LaskiGal said...

What a great memory to create. Especially when this is becoming more and more true: "One of the club members speculated that her neighbors rather pay someone to tend to their landscape than to get their hands dirty."

I love digging in the dirt. I just wish I could keep things alive . . .

Stacey @Real World Mom said...

Sounds like a perfect day! :-)

Jod{i} said...

ooooooooooooo another commonality!
I have been off this week and out in my yard, playing in the mud! Love it!
THere is more of zen quality for me than blogging(more so as of late). Just something about digging and getting ones hands and nails dirty and then seeing it grow!
At my Agency, we have a horticulture program that my best friend heads up. She is the ultimate gardener, puts me to shame. Our clients LOVE it as well. So I get to enjoy while I work!