Sunday, June 7, 2009

LESSONS IN GARDENING

One of the last times that I visited with my Granny Merritt, before she went to live in the nursing home, she had a new 'treasure' to show me in her yard. I remember it well, because it always makes me smile when I see one. I am speaking of "High Geraniums". I'm sure you have seen them. One of the most beautiful plants and very prolific here in the deep South. She was so proud of them and kept telling me the night before just how beautiful they were. I could hardly wait to see them!

I could only imagine what they would look like. Were they a climbing variety... or more of a bush? I was not then, and I am not now, very much of a gardener. But, I did know what a 'geranium' was. I especially liked red ones in clay pots.

After we were up and around the next morning, she said, "Come on, Tonna, let's go see my flowers." She always called me Tonna. No one else has ever called me that. And, I am glad because that was her special name for me.

Out to the yard we went...and she led me to the most beautiful HYDRANGEA bush I had ever seen! I told her how beautiful they were and they really were. I always think of her whenever I see a bush of 'high geraniums'!

When we began thinking of the landscaping for the Creek House (and there is not much of it)...the only thing I told our designer that I wanted was hydrangeas...LOTS OF HYDRANGEAS! And, I have 6 or 7 bushes. I never expected to see any blooms this year...but LOOK AT THIS...

There is also a blue one blooming, too. I am just thrilled!

Today, I was able to pick some and bring them into the house..very exciting. I had heard there was a certain way to care for them after they are picked, I searched the internet to find out what to do. Here is the way to preserve the blooms as long as possible after cutting...

*****Take water with you to cut the flower and immediately place them in the water.
Boil some water, and remove from heat. After cutting the stem to desired length, place the cut stem in the boiling water for 30 seconds...then add to room temp. water to arrange.*****

I'll let you know how long these last.

Another plant she taught me about were hostas. I think they are so beautiful! I have several in a bed at our former house. Boy do they multiply! I have already told Suzanne that I am going to bring about half of them over here. She will still have plenty to fill out the bed.

I think it kind of wonderful that at the age of 55, I am still thinking of the things my Granny told me so many years ago. Family is a wonderful thing. The memories, and the lessons stay with you for life. Oh, we must be sure the memories are happy ones, and the lessons are for good. We will be remembered, too, for the same things.

So, here's to you, Granny Merritt...I imagine that you are seeing the most beautiful flowers in heaven. God's gardens must be divine!

8 comments:

Lynne said...

I love hydrangeas. My grandmother had blue ones all around her house. I'll have to check on the light requirements of them - I could probably put some around my house.

Anonymous said...

Two of my faves, I only have one hydrangea (blue) but I just love it, yours are beautiful...and we have many hostas. I find that as I am getting older I put in less annuals, I still add some.

What a nice memory of your gmother :)

Nice post,
Kathy :)

LivingTheLife said...

What a beautiful memory of your Granny Merritt and a lovely post of those gorgeous hydrangeas. They are one of my favorite flowers as well as geraniums...I love to see red geraniums in clay pots, too...wonder what it is about that combo that just reaches out and grabs ya...hmmm???

I have to say hostas are a favorite of mine as well...I agree w/Kathy as I get older I am loving the perenials a lot more. I think it's great that you can retrieve some of your hostas from your former home...my friends and I are always thinning out our perenials and passing them on to one another...it is just our way of sharing beauty and multiplying our gardens.

Another thing I am LOVING is that jar w/the amazing lid on it that you have so lovingly displayed your hydrangeas...it is AWESOME! What a find...you must tell me the details of how you came to have such a lovely piece...I will be on a HUNT now for one...which is what makes having those types of treasures all the more fun.

Blessings...
Teresa

racheld said...

I love the names and the memories---my own Mammaw had vast beds of coleus, and when she gave someone a cutting, she was presenting them with a COLEA---singular.

And a Memphis aunt sat on her patio every morning with her coffee and admired her High Biscuits.

I love the old thoughts and words and proverbs and pronouncements from our forebears, and think hydrangeas to be one of the loveliest flowers in the garden.

Our own big pot of geraniums has got almost too big to wag in and out of the house---she's wintered in front of the big living room windows for six years now, and is always set out on the front porch for the warm season. Looks really pretty, all that red against the white and the little flags flying.

Joy said...

Tonja,

Didn't we have wonderful summers? I hope my children and grandchildren have wonderful memories like the ones we shared with our relative in N.C..

Love you,sis,

Joy

Musicaljean said...

Hydrangeas are awesome. The boys gave me a bush for Mother's Day last year. It didn't bloom yet this year, though, up here in the far north!!

I'm trying to catch up after being away for the weekend, so your rambling post was above my head for now. But I loved the pictures! After I catch up I'll come back and try to get it.

Blessings each day said...

I bought two hydrangeas last spring and something ate one quickly and then decided to give me a little hope and slowly ate the other one! At least I can enjoy yours. when I was I was grwoing up, I always heard the white bushes referred to as snowballs!

Enjoyed my visit here very much,

blessings,

marcy

andi said...

So sweet. I miss my grandmother too, you know that. They have taught us much!