Friday, January 18, 2013
Grandma Peggy's Pink Geranium
Like others I have read, some of them among my favorite blog friends, I associate things with the people who gave them to me, or who just owned them before I did.
Thus our dining room table, which belonged to my mother's mother before me....and possibly even to HER mother before her....has its own history and provenance, from Thanksgiving dinners with all the kids and our beloved uncle hogging the mashed potatoes over in our corner and calling ourselves the allied union, to cousins getting first aid on its shiny veneered top.
And this odd and that end and the other knick knack, bowl, or potato masher has a bit more meaning to me than just a tool that could be replaced with a fancier one if I ran to WalMart.
So it is with plants. I still have the very first plant I was ever given, an old-fashioned pink Christmas cactus my mother gave me when I still lived at home. I have a big split-leaved philodendron that came from a get-well bouquet sent to someone I cared about who died decades ago.
When the boss's mother passed on I kept all her plants. She and I had a stormy, difficult, relationship but I loved her deeply, and I know she cared a lot for me. In keeping the flowers and greenery she loved alive I feel a lasting connection, one that I seem to need as the years go by. Plus I love my jungle...it keeps me happier in the winter when everything outside is white and grey, and gives me flowers in the summer to bring the hummers closer.
Thus I learned to propagate her fox tail fern.
And over the years I have nurtured her double-flowered pink geranium. This is a plant of a now-unpopular kind, robust and leggy, and massive. If not cut back it sprawls for feet and feet and even yards, waving its rose-like blossoms at the end of teetering stalks.
Last fall I did hack it down, ruthlessly, but didn't have the heart to toss the cuttings out. I rooted them...all of them...in Grandma Peggy's....that's what my kids called her...antique mason jar.
Yesterday I potted them.
In the midst of the cold, dark heart of winter she was near. I hope she knows I loved her.