Memory Bulbs--TOW

Paul Tyerman
Wed, 30 Jul 2003 05:49:25 PDT
At 09:08  29/07/03 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear All,
>It is interesting how certain people have made an impression on many of us. 
>I was fortunate to work with Jack on the early issues of BULBS and was a 
>bit in awe of being able to correspond with someone so well known. He 

Mary Sue,

I have a lot of plants that are "memory" associated, not all bulbs.  My
wife and I have plants in memory of each of our miscarriages and there are
various plants around my garden that are associated with "little old
ladies" <grin> in the town where I grew up (I was a gardener from a young
age), all of whom have now passed on as far as I know.  Those particular
plants will always mean that person to me (for example a certain herbaceous
Paeony will always remind me of 'Nan Hindmarsh' who died around 16 years
ago).  Few of these types of plants are bulbs however.

I have many more recent bulbs though who will always be associated with
specific people.  In some cases they are the first plants I received from a
given person, or they were something special that I had been searching for
for a long time and received as a gift or swap from a given person.  To me
a swapped or gift plant always means so much more as it comes from a person
rather than a nursery.  Now-a-days I also have numerous plants coming from
seed and the origins of the seed will always be the memory associated with
them.  Like you, Jack Elliot was friendly to me when I first got into the
gardening lists (I had no idea who he was (other than "Jack Elliot",
gardener) for quite a while after I met him on email).  The first ever bulb
seed I sowed was from Jack and included a number of Fritillaria species and
3 different Orthrosanthus.  I am hoping that I might actually get my first
flower from one of those Fritillarias this year, but definitely next year
if not this year.  They mean more to me now due to his illness and every
time I think about them I hope he is getting better.  Here's hoping he
fully recovers.

But illness or death aren't the only things that trigger memories for me.
A couple of years ago there was a discussion on Fritillarias on the old
list and Fritillarias pluriflora was mentioned.  I had never even heard of
pink Fritillarias before this and I queried sources etc.  Some wonderful
people contacted me privately and offered me seed, no charge.  At the same
time they sent me other seed with it and all of those seed mean those
people and they always will.  That was my only source to this date of
Fritillaria pluriflora, recurva and Erythronium multiscapoideum 'Pulga' (or
known as var Cliftonii).  Those plants will always be a reminder to me of
the generosity of those people who I really had only spoken to via email
one or two times.  They quite happily offered and sent seed overseas to me
to give me a start on those varieties.  I imagine you'll all hear the
cheers when I eventually get any flowers <grin>.

And SO many of my interesting treasures come from two friends here in
Australia... one here in Canberra, and one in Tasmania.  There are so many
plants in my collection that I associate with them that I really couldn't
chose 1 plant that was a memory of them, but more of a Genus that would be
a memory would be more fitting <grin>.  My Galanthus and Aroid collections
respectively would be fractions of their current size without them.

This is just the tip of the iceburg I have to say.  Plants mean a lot to me
when they are given to me by friends, acquaintances and even strangers.  I
think that this sort of memory epitomises the wonderfully generous nature
of so many gardeners around the world.  Then again, I think that half the
enjoyment I GET from my gardens is associated with the joys of receiving
and nurturing those plants.  Hey, I'm a sentimental type and I can't help it.

This has been an interesting discussion. It has been good to hear from
others and know that I am not completely strange in my associations of
certain plants with certain people <grin>.


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia.  USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9

Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus,
Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about
anything else that doesn't move!!!!!

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