memories in a vase


Any stroll around our garden brings thoughts of friends who have gifted or traded many of the plants forming the backbone of the beds and borders. Most poignant of these are the memorial plants. With Memorial Day upon us, I noticed that several of these were blooming simultaneously.The idea of a memorial bouquet was born. I knew it would be a mixed posy, so a simple glass cylinder seemed like the best vase choice. A few smooth stones hold the stems in place. The yellow tree peony is ‘Gold Sovereign’. It is the last of the blooms on a plant that honors my mom, Mini. All highly appropriate, as she lived to the age of 93 and always had something of the attitude of royalty. Our other tree peony, ‘Chinese Dragon’, is past blooming but the foliage remains beautiful, so I included some of it to honor my dad, Jim. He had the heart of a dragon and shared my love of fantasy. R’s brother, John, died at an early age, bringing us a special kind of sorrow. He is represented by the branch of dogwood, Cornus kousa ‘China Girl’. Our good friends brought us this tree to remember John by and as it grows in beauty it does, indeed, bring fond memories to replace the pain of loss. Our first cat, Manny, is represented by a branch of his sourwood tree Oxydendrum arboreum. It may seem strange to place him on the same plane as people we have lost, but anyone who has let a special pet into his/her heart will understand.


Bringing the vase inside and photographing it against a simpler background makes it easier to see all of the elements. I added a few columbine to give it more height and a branch of Weigelia ‘Wine and Roses’ (foliage only) for color contrast. Cathy at Rambling in the Garden started the tradition of making a bouquet from her garden each Monday. I decided to join in from time to time. You can too, by following the link, enjoying Cathy’s offering, then leaving your own link in the comments.

10 thoughts on “memories in a vase

  1. That is such a lovely theme for your vase – so poignant. It’s so nice to have plants that remind you of loved ones, be it human or animal, and to have plants that are passed through the generations. And the colours blend beautifully together – the aquilegia are a perfect addition. Thanks you so much for joining, and hope to see you again another Monday

  2. What a pefect way for you to honor Memorial Day Ricki! Thank you for sharing. Wish I was close so I could enjoy a walking through your beautiful garden and yard.

  3. Plants that have a connection to loved ones are always special. We had a dog once who stopped every morning to sniff the geraniums (pelargoniums). I planted red geraniums on his little grave every summer. We don’t live there any more, but his memory lives on. Even more dear are the plants I can link to friends and family as you have.

  4. Anna K~You are too kind. The roses you gave me are blooming. They have such cunning candy striped buds before opening to pure white.
    Thanks you.

    Brook~Nice of you to leave a comment. Next time you are in Portland, we’ll have to arrange that stroll through the garden.

    Jean~Thanks for pointing out all we share.

    Loree~You have Lila, so of course you understand.

  5. Great idea, and mixing it with Memorial Day is pure genius. I love your bouquet and all it represents. I’ll confess, I shed a lot more tears over the loss of a cat than the loss of certain humans. 🙂

  6. Beth~Ah yes, the luxury of summer…but surprising things present themselves for the vase year-round.

    Grace~Genius? I blush, but appreciate the compliment all the same.

  7. A beautiful post perfect for the day! Memorial plants are some of my favorites. It’s sweet how a fragrance, petal or leaf can bring a bittersweet smile of remembrance, a laugh, tear and the warmth of remembrance. Thank you.

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