A Legacy Worth Nurturing

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 2 comments

A Legacy Worth Nurturing

First thing yesterday morning I hurried out to the front yard and peeked at my lilies of the valley. After all, it was May first and the lily of the valley is the official flower for the month of May. It rained off and on all night and there were still droplets on the flowers. It made my heart sing. These flowers are from home.

lilies of valley 1

Last summer, my sister-in-law dug out some plants from her yard, stuck them in an ice cream bucket, and we carried them all the way back to North Carolina where I plopped them in the ground. I anxiously watched this spring to see if they would come up and was overjoyed when they did. May isn’t May without lilies of the valley. Besides, these came from my parent’s retirement home. I lived there for several years before getting married, my brother and his family have lived in it since, and now my parents will be moving into it. It is a family home, one where many of my favorite memories live.

Last summer also, my husband’s aunt gave us some plants. Some were daffodil bulbs from her home which I put between the hostas a friend from church gave us a few years ago. The hostas are magnificent this year. The daffodils came up, but didn’t bloom. I’m assured they were just adjusting to their new home.


There’s also a Joseph’s Coat cutting she put in a planter and it has continued to thrive even though we still haven’t transplanted it. We will find a home for it and put it in the ground this week. The gorgeous red flowers make me smile just to look at them.

The other thing she brought was a mass of peonies. I love peonies. They remind me of the parsonage where my parents have lived for the past 25 years. Every summer, the peonies in the side yard bloom and we carry ant covered blossoms in to grace the table. Such a big part of summer.



I separated them and put some along one side of the house, and the other at the end of the porch by the lilies of the valley. They are doing great and will be blooming before long! They are especially precious to Bruce. These plants are separated from plants that were separated from plants at the farm “over home” where Bruce’s great-grandparents lived. It was the place that his mother and her sister thought of as “home.”

“Mama would be so pleased that we have some of those peonies,” Bruce said. My heart smiled.

Heirloom plants are a legacy of love and should be cherished and cared for.

african violets

Speaking of care, my African violets aren’t doing so well. During the time that we were at the beach this winter, there was a cold snap here, and I’m afraid we had the heat turned down too far for indoor plants. One looks like it might survive, but the two that came from a plant that came from one of my Grandma Jones’ are all but dead. She was known for her African violets. It breaks my heart, they were so gorgeous. But, there is hope! When I saw the plant was struggling, I cut off one of the better leaves from each plant and put them in water. They have roots now, so I’ll pop them into pots tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.

One of the best things about all of these plants—being frugal by nature—is that they are free. Why spend money on plants, when you can get cuttings from a friend or family member. It is my intention to fill our property with plants in just this way. In fact, a dear neighbor friend has offered to let me bring a five gallon bucket of dirt over and we’ll poke cuttings from many of her beautiful bushes into it and let them root! It’s on my list for this week. It’s a legacy after all.


Yes, I believe legacy is important. For me legacy can come in so many different disguises. By surrounding ourselves here in our home and on our property with plants and flowers from places that are special to us, well, it feels a little like we are surrounding ourselves with the love of all of those people and the memories of the places where they lived and loved.

Seems to me that’s a legacy worth nurturing.


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  1. Elizabeth Messenger

    Geraniums are my legacy plant. My dear mother-in-love shares cuttings from her plants with me and we enjoy the blooms together. Renting limits how much we can plant but I love having plants in pots on our veranda. Thanks for sharing your legacies.

    • admin

      Grandma Jones used to keep red geraniums on her porch and Daddy had one of her plants in his office for years. Can’t see geraniums (or even the word) without thinking of her!