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An Heirloom Plant

May 31st, 2017

I had a lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) in my Ohio garden, it came from my mom’s house, she got it from her mom’s house. The original plant was in the gardens at the house my mom’s parent bought when she was two years old. When we moved to Maine I didn’t bring any from my garden, I know I could get a start from my mom once again.

I brought a small start last summer, after visiting my parents in June. I planted it under the apple tree knowing it would love this shady spot with great soil. Oddly enough, there was some lily of the valley in this garden when we arrived. It struggles in the spot where it’s planted, I’m not 100% sure why, perhaps the soil isn’t quite as fertile.

It’s blooming beautifully this summer. This plant can be a bit of a thug in the garden, so it should be planted in a place where you don’t mind that it takes over and forms a ground cover. I’m happy to have it do this in this area. I need a ground cover here that will keep the weeds from coming up.

It makes me smile knowing that this plant is a true heirloom that came from my grandmother’s garden. Who knows how long it lived in that garden before they moved into the house.

Do you have any heirloom plants in your garden?

5 Comments to “An Heirloom Plant”
  1. KT on May 31, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Yes, I have daffodils that I dug up from my mother’s garden when we moved here in 1974, and a peony as well. Also lily of the valley that came from the edge of the old cemetery in the little town where my great-grandparents and grandparents are buried. Love the heirlooms! They always seem to grow better than ones you get from the nursery.

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  2. PennyAshevilleNC on June 1, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I have lily of the valley from my mother and I planted it under our river birch. It is leafy but this year only one bloomed. I wonder if the soil is acidic or something? I decided to move them this year but haven’t settled on a good spot yet.

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  3. joan on June 1, 2017 at 8:22 am

    My rhubarb is a start from my mom, it’s been in her garden forever! Also, I’m getting as many perennial flowers as I can from friends and family – I love things that came from other people because they bring memories and smiles whenever I see them.

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  4. Kathy on June 4, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I have lily of the valley, peonies, a blueberry bush, and bearded iris from my parents farm. And I try to grow giant marigolds every year – my father loved planting a big bed of them – they were beautiful.

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  5. Kristen on June 4, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    I have some hostas that were divided from some in my mom’s yard. I also have a peony from her and iris from my neighbor who has since moved away. Last weekend my mom brought me two hydrangeas that she started (using the method we read about here!). Her hydrangeas are beautiful but we live on different sides of the state (different climates) so I’m curious to see how they fare here.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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