We play with dirt

Legacy Gardens and Saying Goodbye

My grandparents are in the process of selling the house they’ve lived in for the past 25 years so they can move to the family property. It’s the only house I remember them living in and I’m finding saying goodbye to be more difficult than anticipated. The garden in particular is going to be difficult to say goodbye to. They’ve got a sprawling corner lot with huge flowerbeds (one of them is the size of our whole backyard), established fruit trees, and all sorts of unique plants that they’ve curated over the course of their lives.


Mom and I went over this morning to get cuttings and pull some of our personal favorites, the most notable of which is the ginger. They have tons of it and it’s slowly taking over the whole yard. Ivy, seedums, succulents, butterfly bushes, ferns, elephant ears, night shade, day lilies, tulips and I haven’t even mentioned the fruit trees.

She kept an arbor with grapes for the last five years or so simply for the purpose of making wine. And a Mexican plum tree for the best homemade jelly I’ve ever eaten. There’s an absolutely enormous orange tree in the backyard, and this will be the first Thanksgiving we don’t pick oranges off the tree. The lemon tree of my high school years finally killed itself by overproducing, and it got so large my grandfather couldn’t keep it covered in the winter. There’s a baby one volunteering in the back yard, a daughter of the original tree.

Our first dog, Hawkeye, and my grandparent’s Pekingese, Prissy, are buried under the shade of their pecan tree.


We obviously can’t rescue the trees, but we were able to get cuttings of the ginger, night shade, seedums and day lilies. They’re comfortably settled in my yard now, right next to the bromelieads from my great grandfather’s yard, and the pencil tree and cape jasmine from my Nanny’s yard.

Tell me about your legacy plants. How old are they and where did they come from? What in particular makes them so special to you?

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