Grandma’s Plants

I grew up living with my grandparents on their farm in the summers and grandma’s house was known for two things; clutter and plants. This woman adored flowers and her house always had plants everywhere. She even had my grandpa build her a solarium she could fill with plants. We loved watching TV in that solarium, it was comforting to be surrounded by all that nature.

When she moved into the retirement home, she had to get rid of most of her plants. My cousin Jenny and I split them but sadly they almost all died. I was only able to keep three of the fourteen plants I took home alive. One of them was an enormous Christmas cactus that grandma has had for more than 20 years! That cactus blooms twice a year and is such a nice bit of life in the middle of the winter.

When she was in the retirement home she insisted on having plants. My aunts bought her beautiful silk flowers but she wanted the real thing. In the summer, she would make my Aunt buy her a ton of flowers and plant them on the deck. I spent many summer days sitting on the deck with Grandma as she enjoyed her flowers. She covered her table with plants and flowers and would always ask guests to water them as she couldn’t.

When the pure shock of her sudden death passed the first thing I asked was “What about Grandma’s plants?” My Aunt had planned to throw them out but I knew how much Grandma loved those plants and I asked to take them all home.

I’ve always said I had a black thumb. In the past I’ve always killed houseplants through neglect and not paying attention to their health. This time around though, these are my grandma’s plants and I am keeping them alive to honour her.

What I didn’t expect was the joy these plants would bring me and how they would make me feel close to her though she’s gone. Every time one of these plants produces a flower, it makes me smile and think of my grandma. For the first time in my life, flowers are bringing me pure joy rather than uninterested appreciation.

As I watched a new bloom this morning I was inspired to write this post. To share with my readers the comfort something as small as houseplants can bring to you.

Do you have something from your grandparents you treasure?

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