“Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.”
Beverly Nichols (Merry Hall)
Observations with no Conclusions: I find myself repeating the habits of my dear departed loved ones when it comes to gardening. I am reflexively drawn to flowers that my parents, Aunt, grandparents planted and raised in abundance for as long as I can remember. Why? Why the following in the same path?
Geraniums, Roses, Fuchsias, Foxglove, Hollyhocks, Ferns are foremost in our gardening preferences. Yes, there are other efforts toward Hosta, various perennials, ground covers and trees but the go to flowers year after year are the above.
I like these flowers by virtue of their colors, their blooming time and quantity, their hardiness. But, if I drill down for the honest why’s of it all, I meet that same swirl of thoughts and emotions I seem to meet anymore when plumbing the depths of who I am and why I believe what I believe or feel or think or say. There is a lot of unresolved emotions and thoughts that just makes one turn away to deal with the present events.
Yet, the preference for the plants? Memories of being a child and things were happy and bright. Playtime, sunshine, those colors around me, something connected to my parents and family…that was positive. Those plants brightened the hearts and minds of my loved ones. I know enough now, as an adult, that the subcurrents of unhappiness and unfullfilled dreams were there for them but gardening was an outlet.
So these oft repeated flowers and colors did something to raise their spirits. I know they raise mine and I feel a positive connection to the past. Such remembrances to the past, be it gardening, cooking, decorating, tinkering in a shop, crafts, recreation all have traditions that we borrow because, yes they work and are efficient, but also because we watched our parents, our mentors and somewhere in that muddled memory are pleasant recollections of warmth and peace.
Last night, a neighbor lady beckoned me to her yard to show me the flowers she had planted. This lovely woman, in her 80’s, was so proud of her geraniums, her petunias and hosta. She bubbled with excitement about the colors, the soil, the amount of sunshine they receive, the hosta having originally come from my departed Aunt. I listened, admired, took in the beauty and tidy plantings. Her geraniums, my geraniums prompted my considerations for this post.