For Jefferson, plants were intimately associated with people-friends, neighbors, political allies-and the exchange of seeds, bulbs, and fruit scions represented a token of enduring friendship. This union for gardening and sociability is evident throughout the letters in the garden book. Jefferson would chide his daughters and granddaughters for their inattention to the flower beds around the house, while they in turn would report on the latest horticultural dramas taking place at Monticello. Jefferson also engaged in friendly competitions with his neighbors to determine who could harvest the first English pea in the spring. The winner then hosted a community dinner, sharing the winning dish (or teaspoon) of peas.
As gardeners we often offer cuttings of our favorite plants and receive the same in return. My garden in Ohio was filled with plants collected from friends and family members far and wide. I had peonies that were cuttings from one that was growing in the flowerbeds at my grandmother’s house when they moved there when my mom was a wee little girl.
I’m also lucky to have a start of the old fashioned comfrey that also graced that garden along with a few starts from her lily of the valley.
I had a host of sedum plants collected here there and everywhere as well. A few of these plants made it to Maine with me, some of them I need to get starts from my mom once again. I’m now starting from scratch, hopefully I’ll find a few friendly gardeners here that are willing to share starts with me!
What plant do you think people would associate with you as a gardener?Filed under Quote | Comments (6)