FORSYTHIA, ROSES & LIFE

Even though they don’t rate as high on my list as roses, herbs and hydrangeas, forsythias do have a special place in my heart for several reasons.

REASON #1: Forsythia blooms signal it is time to give my roses their spring trim.

REASON #2: Just when winter is at it’s most dreary and I am ready to scream, out pops these bright, beautiful blooms.

REASON #3: Forsythia can be forced to bloom inside even before it is warm enough to bloom outside. Another late winter perk.

REASON #4 (And, the most special reason): My parents loved forsythia. As most of you know, my dad passed away in January of 2013, and one of his last conversations about his yard was that he was looking forward to seeing the forsythia bloom. That now takes forsythia to another level!

I cut some of Dad’s forsythia in hope that I could force it to bloom for his memorial service but we didn’t have enough time.

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Each spring seeing the forsythia bloom makes feel a little closer to my mom & dad. And, it will remind me that it is time to get the roses trimmed and let the bloom thyme begin!

Other stories about my parents…

My Dad the Sailor

My Mom, Gardening and Red Lipstick

FORSYTHIA THIS & THAT…

  • This shrub was named for William Forsyth (1737-1804), director of the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1770 and one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society of London.
  • Super easy to grow and a true over-achiever, so give it some room!
  • As with most one-time flowering shrubs, PRUNE AFTER BLOOM. New blooms will appear on the preceding year’s branches.

What is it about spring that you are looking forward to most?

Container Gardening: From Ordinary to Extraordinary

I love growing in containers. I grow everything from tomatoes and herbs to exotic flowers and shrubs. Each year it is fun to decide what containers to use and what plants to try.

Through the years I have turned just about everything into a container for plants. Sometimes I find something unusual and the container is more important than the plant. But, most of the time my containers are ordinary and it’s the plants that make them special.

However, there is one container that I use every year that is very special to me, this little metal water pitcher that is filled with lemon mint…

Mammy's Pitcher
Mammy’s Pitcher

This pitcher belonged to my grandmother … the same grandmother who went to see her doctor when she was in her 80s and asked the doctor to give her a pill that would make her feel strong enough to hoe in the garden. This little pitcher was a part of her everyday, ordinary life. To me it is completely extraordinary in the memories that it holds!

I am told she had the greenest of thumbs and could grow anything. And, you can be sure that I love it when other family members say, “You remind me of your grandmother, Mammy!”

Here are some containers in my garden and even a picture of me taken a few years ago dressed in one of Mammy’s dresses, holding her water pitcher…

My favorite plants to use in containers…

  • Tomatoes (Because I am obsessed)
  • Chile Peppers
  • Roses
  • Mint (…Because I love it and use a lot of it BUT it will take over if you plant in ground!)
  • Most used cooking herbs
  • Nasturtiums (Planted around my tomatoes)
  • Dorotheanthus Mezoo (Big name but excellent trailing plant)
  • Lantana (Hummingbirds & butterflies love)
  • Wave Petunias (’cause they can take the heat)
  • Geraniums
  • Coleus
  • Ferns
  • Gardenias
  • Succulents

For more on container gardening, click here.

What do you grow in containers?

You might also enjoy these family stories…

Memories of My Mom…

My Dad the Sailor…