Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Spirea x vanhoutteii in my garden today
Day 123
The Daily DuBrule

What causes a person to select one plant over another to plant in their yard? Often, it is because the plant brings back memories of childhood. Many years ago I offered a workshop called "Garden Memories". The morning session was spent sharing stories and writing down what we remember from our childhoods in the way of plants, flowers, and gardens. I was stunned at the depth of emotion that was revealed in this exercise. For my own story, I spoke about how I grew up in the north end of Hartford in a city yard. I have no recollection of anyone ever gardening. Yet, the yard had many shrubs and roses as I can see now when looking at the thousands of old slides I inherited from my grandfather. 

I do remember playing beneath a bridal wreath spirea shrub. Of course, I had no idea at the time what the plant was, I just know that now in my life this plant sings to me and I recognize it in a very deep part of my psyche. 

Me, in a wagon, with roses in the background!
The second half of my workshop was helping the students design their own gardens incorporating the plants from their past to make their present landscapes more personal and meaningful. That is what I do for myself when I choose to plant shrubs that I now know were a part of my life growing up. 

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