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It’s About More Than Transplanting Daisies

At the beginning of summer, my dad announced he intended to be done with the flower garden space in his backyard. It has become too much work for him to take care of and he decided to hire someone to come and ‘undo the garden.’

I cannot keep up with maintaining my own flower beds, so I totally get this and it makes perfect sense to the whole family, including me. Plus, ‘grassing over’ the huge space will make for a whole lot fewer of those ‘muddy paw days’ when the various family dogs visit.

Still, hearing the news made me a little sad too.

My mother loved flowers and she loved that flower garden in the backyard. From the day we moved into that house, it was her pride and joy; well, one of them anyway. We moved into that house when I was in sixth grade, all the way from Central Avenue north to Central Avenue south, same street, just opposite end of town. One of the draws for making that move was the backyard and that potential flower garden. With careful tending, year after year it was a lovely sight to behold; it was even featured once in the local newspaper as “Yard of the Week.” Some of the plants in my mother’s garden made their way into it all the way from her mother’s flower gardens in North Dakota.

So ‘grassing over’ my mother’s garden space is kind of a big deal and feels a little sad too.

But I am all for it. I am. Common sense rules.

I have made two trips to my dad’s backyard specifically to rescue plants from my mother’s flower garden; well, actually just to rescue some iris and daisy plants. Daisies and irises are two of my all-time favorite flowering plants, mostly because irises are such a gorgeous purple and because daisies keep right on blooming all summer long. Plus, and this is a big plus, they are both hardy and reliable perennial specimens, two requirements for any plants I try to grow. A green thumb I do not possess.

Wouldn’t you know it, each time I arrived at my dad’s house with pails and spade in hand, a downpour was imminent.

Picking out the hardiest plants while swatting mosquitoes and anticipating the sky to let loose any second, transporting buckets to my yard some three hours away and then finally placing the now not-quite-so hardy looking plants into their new and carefully chosen dirt slots in Wisconsin soil, was no small task.

But it’s done.

I hope they make it.

If they do, it’ll be like keeping another little piece of my mother’s memory literally alive and well.

If they don’t make it; well, at least I tried, right?

Time will tell!

What’s your favorite flowering perennial plant?

Do you have a flower garden or wish you did?

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It's about more than transplanting daisies

The daisies all tucked into their new spaces.


It's about so much more than transplanting daises

Different spot where you can see some daisies and some irises, too, strategically planted together for easy viewing out my kitchen window.

karen sutherland

Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

dear Nancy,

I used to love gardening, but the deer and poison ivy kind of spoiled it. we had such a harsh winter - I thought I had lost nearly half of the perennials, but they valiantly struggled through the springtime and are now more hardy than ever! how lovely to be able to transplant some of the most special things from your dear Mom's garden to your own. my Mom will soon be entering a nursing home; her flower gardens were her pride and joy and whenever anyone talked about Mom, there was always some mention of how splendid her flowers were. she lives far away from me, but I am going to find a way to be able to have some of her flowers for my own gardens, take photos of them, and frame them for her new home. oh, gosh - now I am going to cry...enjoy, savor every bloom, each sweet blossom to remember your MOM.

much love,

Karen xoxo


Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

Karen, We had a really harsh winter too and some of my plants and shrubs didn't make it. Sort of gives me extra appreciation for the ones that do make it year after year. Gosh, it will be hard to see your mom go into that nursing home, but what a wonderful idea to take photos of her gardens. It'll be like she still has them. That's very sweet. I hope you can find a way to get some of her plants into your own gardens. Let me know how all that goes. Thanks for reading and commenting. Sometimes tears help... xoxo


Monday 21st of July 2014

I think it is such a good idea to go over and save the plants that were your mother's. A living memory. My Dad did that with his father's garden and 45 years later we are still enjoying many of the trees/bushes he transplanted.


Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

Mae, I love that you are still enjoying those trees and bushes that were transplanted. Such a symbol of continuity and as you said, a living memory. Thank you for reading and sharing that.

Beth L. Gainer

Sunday 20th of July 2014

I love this post.

I can understand the meaning behind those plants your mom loved so much. It makes total sense. I hope these plants survive.

I am terrible with plants. I forget about them, and then they die. It's awful. And what's ironic is that I was a writer and editor for a horticultural trade magazine!

My mom, on the other hand, is a splendid gardener. She just has that magic touch.


Monday 21st of July 2014

Beth, I'm not very good with plants either, in fact, I already tossed out a couple of summer petunia planters. I can never get them to survive all summer long. Oh well. It is funny that you were once a writer and editor for a horticulture trade magazine. Sometimes I wonder if gardening is one of those generational things, too, and that some of those skills are being lost or not carried forward by younger generations. Hope not though. Thanks for reading and commenting, Beth.

Kate, of Kate Has Cancer

Saturday 19th of July 2014

My mom was the master of house plants. Dad has had a tough time keeping them going since her accident. Somehow though, Mom's orchid is blooming like crazy and putting up three new shoots. It feels like Mom is sending us a message through that orchid. Coincidentally, she shared her name with a type of orchid.


Monday 21st of July 2014

Kate, Maybe she is sending you some kind of message... who knows? I bet those plants of your mom's mean a lot to your dad. It's sweet that he's trying to keep them going. I don't do house plants at all anymore. No luck with those at all. Plus, we now have a cat...

Elizabeth J.

Friday 18th of July 2014

I love roses. I had a lot of flowers, always planted a lot of annuals. Since cancer, that has gone by the wayside. But, my roses are still going strong.


Monday 21st of July 2014

Elizabeth, You know I never plant roses. I don't plant things that poke me! ha. My mom had gorgeous roses, but they are mostly gone now too. It's great that yours are still going strong. I totally understand about your gardening going by the wayside. Enjoy your roses! Thanks for sharing.

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