Mother's Day Flowers


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The women of the Dunn staff: Carolyn, Quill, Beth, and myself, another Beth, drifted into a conversation about Mothers’ Day. It then drifted into a discussion about flowers that come to mind when thinking about our grandmothers and mothers. This was an unsurprising progression of topics since we work in a garden. Below we share our conversation and invite you to share something back with us.

Carolyn associates her grandmother with violets. Her grandma started with a few and let them grow around and around her home till they were a purple abundance. Carolyn’s grandmother was quite the gardener of large spaces as it turns out. When a strip of land in the middle of the family farm in Oregon was appropriated to build Highway 22, she grieved over the slash of road that intruded on the view from her house. Her response was one that gardeners’ can applaud; she planted daffodil bulbs between the highway and the farm fence and let them naturalize. They can be seen right to this day during spring. How is that for classy?

The tea rose, "Tropicana," with its voluptuous orange bloom was the flower of choice for Carolyn’s mother. One particular plant followed the family around in successive moves and is now in the home of Carolyn’s brother.

Quill has two particular memories. She indicated a pot of cheeky geums she had waiting for planting in the Dunn. “My mother grows those,” she said. “Hers were red. I have a picture of myself and my sister when we were toddlers sitting eye level with the blooms.” The other memory is of a crabapple tree Quill saw her mom plant. The two, tree and little girl, grew up and into the world together. In winter snows the red fruit of the Malus kohankie looked to her like Christmas ornaments.

Beth told us her mother favored anything yellow and that simplicity made us giggle.

My mother had a particular fondness for hydrangeas. I have memories of Mom constructing a hydrangea bouquet for a school event when I was eight. The nature of the event is now vague but those blue flowers massed in a bunch bigger than myself have not lost their magic for me.

Carnations were also favored in my mother's garden. Their botanical name of Dianthus caryophyllus means divine flower. Carnations come in any color, except blue, and each has a particular significance. My mother’s favorite was pink which means, happily, “I’ll never forget you.” As an aside, it turns out the blooms are edible and the plant easy to root. All you have to do is take a healthy non-flowering shoot, place around the edge of a pot and put in shade. The latter feature appealed to my frugal mother.

I’m sure we could have managed some more flower memories with a bit more time but we had enough at hand to make us smile. Now it is your turn to honor your mother with memories of the flowers she loved. Love to hear your stories too.





Flowers special to our Moms and Grandmas

I always think of the beautiful hollyhocks that lined the driveway at my grandparents house. Grandma was particularly fond of them and of petunias. Mom loved flowers. I remember her telling me that when she still lived at home she had a garden with lots of flowers, including many varieties of iris. She also loved roses and did a beautiful watercolor painting of deep pink roses. The moment I saw it I said, "Mine!" It is quite a treasure.

Mother's Day Flowers

Beth - this piece on mother's day flowers is so touching. I lost my mom in May, just two years ago. Since then, the climbing peace rose on my back porch has exploded in blooms each Mother's Day - I call them mom's flowers. But honestly, I'd not really thought about which flowers she loved best until today - she loved them all. Your article reminded me of childhood times when I'd walk through our yard harvesting a bouquet of all that was in bloom at the moment, to present to her, for the smile it always brought was precious. Thank you.

Marta Horvath's picture

Reminiscing about our mothers and flowers

Mother's day has passed already but you inspired me to reminisce about my mother in relation to flowers. Her birthday was Feb. 19 and in our town (city) with Alpine climate in the western edge of Hungary the only thing that popped its head that time in the gardens and forest were snowdrops.  So, in my childhood, it was snowdrop bouquets that we gave her for her birthday. Traditionally, Name Days are also celebrated in Hungary. Hers was/is July 22, which time gladioluses were/are in bloom, so she received a lot of those on that occasion from friends and family. She also liked Gerbera daisies.Thank you for asking!Marta Horvath

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