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Gardeners Share Garden Memories

Like gardens, garden blogs all reflect the gardeners that tend to them. In our garden blogs we record the highs and lows we experience gardening; the plants that arrive, the seeds we sow, and everything you'd expect to find in a garden journal. Sometimes you come across a garden blog entry that goes beyond the standard "garden journal" entry and the gardener shares something personal that gives you insight into the heart and mind of the gardener.

Recently I asked for entries either from your own garden blog or your favorite garden blogs that were personal and touching. The following are the posts that were submitted that you felt deviated from the standard entry and not only spoke to you as a gardener but as another person.

When creating a garden the price and rarity of the perennials, annuals and accouterments aren't what people will remember. In the post Childhood Garden Memory Weeping Sore remembers the humble origins of the family garden and wonders of the possibilities if mom had more time and money to invest in gardening.

How do you thank someone too proud to accept any monetary compensation or when money can't express your appreciation? Understanding Miss Willmott was an entry by Black Swamp Girl where she found an ingenious way to thank her grandmother by planting a few surprises in her grandmother's garden. It is guerrilla gardening with heart with a life lesson as a companion planting.

If you believe that flowers have meanings or that there is a language spoken through flowers then you may know that Oleander is said to represent caution. Love Thy Neighbor was a post by Wicked Gardener where she asked for a plant cutting and got more than she bargained for from the cranky old gardener next door.

I often wonder what will happen to my garden after I'm gone...I get the feeling that nobody will care and it will fall into neglect and be reclaimed by lawn and weeds. In the post, Dad's Garden, Carol writes about the loss and reclamation of the garden lovingly cared for by her father. It gives me hope that someday after I'm gone someone will discover the patch of dirt I call my garden and realize that the soil there is different and once grew plants that at times made me angry and at times filled me with an inexplicable joy.

Many gardeners are lucky to garden in the same spot where a previous gardener started a garden. Some gardeners even have heirloom plants passed down through generations by cuttings or plant divisions and through these plants our friends and loved ones who are no longer with us live on. Sometimes the Gift Outlives the giver was a post by Annie where the sight of an unusual succulent flower lead to remembering the aunt that once gave her a piece of the plant.

The Passion Flower was named by priest who found it growing in Latin America and in the structure of the flower saw a resemblance to the Passion (suffering and death) of Jesus Christ. Scarlet passionflower, a post by Pam, details how a passion flower comes to represent not suffering and death but love and life.

In my family the only person who can relate to what I get from gardening is my grandfather. I speak of him, still, in the present tense even though he passed away not long ago. He had what can only be described as a green thumb and planted everywhere he lived. He was hardened by bad luck and hard work and was more of a disciplinarian than a nurturer but one thing he loved was plants. In my most honest moments I'll admit that the majority of my interest in plants came after his death and was prompted by wanting a connection with him I never had when he was alive. So gardening stories with a grandfather connection are particularly interesting to me and that is why I remembered Kylee's American Gothic post a few days ago. In the entry a garden tool goes beyond being utilitarian and becomes a bridge that connects her to the grandfather she remembers so fondly.

It was a year ago that I came up with "Seeds Grow More Than Just Plants." The phrase is my personal tag line, or mantra if you will, and has its origins in my belief that seeds create gardens and plants that not only add to the aesthetic quality of your surroundings but they grow communities, relationships and memories. Sharing Seeds by Seed Scatterer is a post that shares that sentiment and touches upon what seed collectors "get" from collecting and sharing seeds.

The idea of a Doppelgänger has always fascinated me. My friend Pat is a humorous introduction to Janie's friend whom she met at a Master Gardener meeting and has forged a friendship with.

I can't believe I did this chronicles the purchase of a bird bath. But it is really more than just about buying a bird bath for the garden it is about Kathy's discovery that you need to give yourself permission once in a while to indulge in something you really want.

These aren't in any particular order and while I set a time limit for submitting a link I'm willing to edit this post after the holidays and add more links to individual post for those who didn't get to see my poorly timed request.


  1. MrBrownThumb, what a lovely post you've made at a perfect time of year to make it. We need to slow down and remember some of the many reasons we garden and what our emotional ties to it are. Gardeners are not as simple of a lot as some would like to believe. The stories you've chronicled here are proof of it. Thank you for bringing them together and as the days unfold, I'm sure there will be more.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I have enjoyed reading it very much, and I hope to read more in the future.

    I really appreciate being led to blogs that I likely would never have found.

  3. This is such a touching post for bringing together posts that really do touch us in different ways. 'Tis the season for remembering and savouring times past.

    Happy holidays, Mr Brown Thumb!

  4. A touching post!

    We as gardeners like to share our thoughts and our excitement about gardening. Most times the family members and friends on the receiving end are not so excited about the subject.

    I have one or two people I can go to in the offline world and they share my excitement about gardening.

  5. This is a great post, one to be savored a bit. Thanks for pulling it all together,

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  6. Isn't it interesting that our fondest memories of our gardens are the people in them and not the flowers?

  7. Nice collection of posts with sentiments we can all relate to and enjoy!

  8. Looking forward to meeting 2008 soon. Wishing you "the best" the year has to offer. Thank you for gathering gardening memories. :-)

  9. This complilation was a great idea! Thanks for guiding the tour.

  10. what a great roundup for right before the new year! a great time for reflection, thanks for sharing these!

  11. This is a fantastic post and ideas, and others have said. I'm seeing lots of great posts this time of year from all the garden bloggers out there, fun to see.

    I don't like advertising myself, and I think you've seen this post before from my site, but here it is again if you think it fits:

  12. Mr Brown Thumb I have tapped my way here and what a delight! This is a post that I shall take the time to visit each blog that you have suggested.
    I have posted my ~soulful markers~of
    my garden year of 2007. Pour yourself a cuppa something and come by won't you..
    Wishing you peace love inspiration and blessings as we move forward to a NEW YEAR of gardening!
    naturegirl @

  13. Love the post :) Just stopped by to wish you a Happy New Year !

  14. Lovely post...I enjoyed following the links you shared.
    Happy New Year, Mr. BrownThumb! May your garden grow and your thumb be green in 2008. :-)

  15. Mr. brown thumb, I am delighted to read this post because this made me remember some of some things. I remember my mother telling me of the first time she planted her very own seed. She lived in an apartment and was excited to get a stalk of corn on her patio, knowing she would not have a whole crop she told me she was proud of the tall plant that started from a seed she planted. It reminded me of my first attempt at the age of 5. I collected the sunflower seeds from the bird feeder and tried to plant them in tiny baby food jars from my father's workshop (they once held sorted screws so he was sore at me) I did not grow anything from those seeds that year but from then on my mother showed me all she knew. I still love to go to her gardens. Winding paths in between mass gardens filled with almost everything you can think of. She had told my father that by the time he is too old to mow 2 acres, it will be ok because there will be only a mow-able path from front to back left.. the rest gardens.

  16. Mr Brown Thumb, I'm so glad I found your blog. What a wonderful post. I look forward to reading more.

  17. Hello everyone.

    Sorry for the late response but I hope you all enjoyed the Holiday Season and got a chance to read some good posts.

  18. Hi Mr Brown Thumb,

    It's January 3rd now - I was away for a few weeks and am now traveling the garden blog circuit, trying to catch up. This was a lovely post - thank you so much for including me in your anthology.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  19. Anonymous12:45 AM

    Some of these I'd already read and enjoyed, and some were new to me. Thanks for putting together a sweet-spirited post just before the holidays, and thanks for including me in it.



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