Mom and the Flowers

Just thinking….


This carnation is from the casket flowers at Mom’s funeral.  Mom loved flowers. We had all kinds of old-fashioned flowers at the home where we lived when I was growing up: bleeding hearts, lilies of the valley, roses, tulips, morning glories, irises, a type of lily that made long-witch-finger-like flowers (in fact, we would pluck them and wear them on our fingers), trumpet lilies, hollyhocks, tiger lilies, sweet peas, lilacs, peonies, and of course….violets.


Just imagine walking thru the little gate to our front yard, with a huge lily plant to the left, and then the border along the garage being a riot of color from the jumble of all these plants, and then looking toward the front porch with the pearl white lilies of the valley along the steps, and morning glories cascading down the sides of the porch.  Imagine seeing us picking the hollyhocks from the fence line behind the house, and making little dolls from them, each doll having an antebellum hollyhock gown.  Imagine the heady, intoxicating fragrance of the lilacs and honeysuckle as you strolled about the front yard and then to the back yard.


Except for the violets, those were all outdoor flowers that just came back year after year with very little help from the humans.  In those days way back when, Mom didn’t do so well with indoor plants. While those wild violets flourished outdoors, they seemed to wither indoors. Maybe she was just too busy with kids and animals and everything else to keep up with indoor plants.  Maybe we just overwatered them.  However, in later years, her green thumb was evident in her indoor plants. Her windows and enclosed back porch were lush with greenery.


I have inherited a couple of her plants.  The picture above, top, is her Christmas cactus that has no idea of when to bloom; last year it bloomed at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.  It is quite happy in my sunroom. The other is a huge fern, about 6 feet from the end of one frond to the tip of the other. This particular fern was the decor at my mom and dad’s wedding, back in 1947.  It has been subdivided many times so that everyone in the family can have a part of it.  This fern, too, is in my sunroom, but it likes to stay out of the direct sun.  In the summer, we move it outside under the shade tree.  Fern is quite happy with lots of water.

Mom raised gardens and orchards, potato patches and sweet corn patches. We had a huge strawberry bed, gooseberry bushes, black berries and raspberries, and grape vines. The orchards yielded apples, peaches, and pears. The gardens gave us peas, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, squash and pumpkins, radishes and rhubarb.


Today we are planting a rose  in memory of my mother.  Perry dug the hole.  We placed the rose and filled the hole with potting soil.  I said a prayer of praise as I poured water over the rose.  Mom’s name was Violet….. and the rose is lavender.  As it grows this summer, I shall remember my mother.  Her gardens fed our bodies.  But the flowers fed our souls.

UPDATE:  Aug. 5, 2018:  Violet Rose (that’s what I named this memorial rose) flourished this summer, tripling in size and bearing many lovely lavender roses.  Beautiful!

Father, we thank You for all creation, but today I thank You for the little grace notes of the beauty in the flowers. Thank You for my mother who loved the flowers and cared so tenderly for them.  Thank you for the friends who cared enough to send flowers as a memory to our mother.   Amen.

To God be the Glory,


Published in: on April 17, 2018 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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