All but very few plants in my garden have history. Some have very extensive history, and a few have been with me for most of my life. Most were gifts. Some grew from pups, seed or cuttings that I collected from work, other gardens, or places that I travelled to. Almost nothing was purchased, although #1 of these six was a significant purchase for me while I was in high school. These Six are described in reverse chronology of their approximate acquisition. None are blooming now, but some get divided and planted now or a bit later through autumn. The roses will get pruned after defoliation. Only naked lady should not be disturbed until later.

1. 1983 Rosa hybrid, ‘Proud Land’ rose is the only one of these Six that I purchased, and also the only one that has not proliferated abundantly since acquisition. I got only three.

2. 1982 Montbretia masoniorum, crocosmia grew wild on a parcel in Montara where my Pa built his home. I do not know what variety it is. It is not as aggressive as most others.

3. 1980 Agapanthus orientalis, lily of the Nile has been with me since I removed it for a beloved neighbor who had brought it from a garden in Oakland about two decades prior.

4. 1979 Amaryllis belladonna, naked lady is from the homestead garden of my maternal maternal great grandparents in Hoot Owl Creek in Oklahoma, like my grape pop iris (5).

5. 1972 Iris pallida, Dalmatian iris, sweet iris or grape pop iris, came to my garden from the garden of my maternal maternal great grandparents, where it likely grew as an orris.

6. 1971 Rheum rhabarbarum, rhubarb likely grew in the garden of my paternal paternal great grandparents shortly after 1941. I got my copies of it before I got into kindergarten.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


12 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Memories

  1. I totally get your attachment to plants with back stories. I have one, Clematis viticella, that my mother grew; and a few regrets about things I wish I’d kept a bit of, like the Paeonia officinalis my parents had, and a couple of their apples.

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    1. It can be a bad habit though. The garden eventually gets crowded with these important plants, leaving minimal space for new introductions collected from later trips.


    1. Several times?! Brent and I shared a Cereus cactus (of some sort) that made the trip between here and the Los Angeles region a few times before growing too big to move, but that was only a few times, and less than four hundred miles. Some of my lily of the Nile have been sent to weird places in America, from the Pacific Northwest to Texas and perhaps beyond.

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    1. So am I, although it is somewhat overwhelming. My garden is very simple and utilitarian. The lily of the Nile alone occupies significant area that I could grow something more useful on. I try to justify it by putting it in useless space where their roots will inhibit erosion. I similarly justify the grape pop iris as orris, but have absolutely no use for orris. Goodness! There are many other iris here also, each with their particular histories!

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  2. How lovely to have plants from your family’s garden. My great-aunt and grandmother were both keen gardeners with lovely gardeners, but Canada is too far for me still to have their plants with me! Moving is NOT good for gardeners. So many plants that I’ve been given that I’ve lost in my many moves.

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    1. Mine are portable, and did not move very far. However, the two old English walnut trees in the gardens of my paternal paternal great grandparents could not be moved, and were cut down when the home was sold. I did not get scions from them.


  3. How wonderful to have these plants with so much history, and just as importantly to remember where each one came from, and the year. Do you ever thin the agapanthus out? I have a couple growing and I’m fearful they’ll take over eventually.

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    1. Oh yes! I have been dividing the lily of the Nile since I got it. It began as a single shoot in about 1959, but split so much during the two decades afterward to provide enough shoots for a row along the driveway where I lived during high school. It was a short suburban driveway, but more than long enough for a 1972 Electra. I also shared many shoots with any neighbors who would take them. Over the years, some went to the Los Angeles region. Some went to the Portland region, where they freeze to the ground over winter. Some went to Austin. Those in the picture needed to be removed from the landscape they inhabited last year, so got heeled into cans, with six shoots in each of ten cans. Well, they were never planted, so live in the cans for now, and regardless of their crowded situation, continue to divide. Sixty shoots is enough for a single row sixty feet long, or a normal (double) row thirty feet long! That is twelve feet longer than Carson the 1994 Roadmaster!


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