I have a newspaper clipping from the Los Angeles Times 1999… And the title says “Zinnias Evoke Memories of a first love”
In my case, this article evoked memories from a long time ago, and a long way from home.
On a cool Californian day in 1999 we were visiting Universal Studios in Los Angeles. While we stopped off for coffee I noticed the Garden section of the LA Times … and Paul kindly suggested I sit down and read it while they tried another ride. ( sounded like heaven to me).
I wanted to read about Zinnias … yes in the middle of Universal Studios .. because they were one of my mother’s favourite flowers and she grew them in the front garden of our house in Zambia ( Central Africa) when I was growing up.
In truth I don’t know whether they were her favourites because she grew lots of flowers and always successfully.
Robert Smaus, the Times Garden Editor had written, “my first garden was full of zinnias in wild Crayola colours”
…and that is just how I remember them.
In our Zambian garden they provided a lot of colour in a climate that was hot and dry.
At the time of reading that article in Los Angeles my family had long since left Africa and had emigrated to Australia.
I was transported from my coffee table in the winter sunshine at Universal Studios in LA across Australia and back to Africa…….How strong the memories of flowers and plants are!
My mother introduced me to many plants and flowers, and when my parents had a home and garden of their own in Port Macquarie I was constantly trying to transplant flowers and shrubs from Mum’s garden in (warm temperate) Port Macquarie to ours in (cold temperate ) Canberra.
Almost all flowers turned up their toes when they got to Canberra’s freezing/hot dry climate.
I could almost hear them saying
”what have you done to me…why didn’t you leave me alone in lovely temperate Port Macquarie!”‘
Only a few survived, and they are such a welcome part of spring and summer in our garden.
After a full and eventful life, my mother died, not too long after our holiday to the US.
This lovely Dutch Iris (transported from Mum’s garden) was flowering the night she died..
The Dutch Irises have spread and flowered around our garden every November since then…..a warm reminder of our shared love of flowers and gardening.
Sweet peas were a big favourite for her and for me, (and they grew just as well for me as for her……Yes!) and the smell is another memory trigger……but who could not love a sweet pea?
Do you have a flower or shrub or a smell that takes you back to a memory?
Copyright: Geraldine Mackey All Rights Reserved