“When I see one of the old English flowers grown of those days, blooming now in my garden, from an unbroken chain of blossom to seed of nearly three centuries, I thank the flower for all that its forebears did to comfort my forebears, and I cherish it with added tenderness.”~ Alice Morse Earle, American historian and author, 1901
I literally can’t imagine a world without flowers. They are poetry, art, joy, food for the soul, medicine and more. People from past generations loved their flowers every bit as much as we do. Pioneer women traded cuttings and seeds across the fence with their neighbours, were proud enough of their flowers to enter them in fall fairs, and carried roots and seeds across entire continents and oceans to plant in new homesteads. Monks cultivated flowers in amongst the healing plants in their monastery gardens.
Nothing cheers like a flower. I love the old forms of blooms like pinks, sweet peas, and roses. They are simpler, or like heritage snapdragons, more complex with streaks and splatters of colour. They are usually more fragrant too—who wants unscented honeysuckle or roses? And they are hardy—these blooms have some serious staying power!
Let’s go back in time to revisit our grandmothers’ gardens, and find out how to bring those comforting floral memories into our modern gardens.
Explore Heirloom Flowers
Bearded irises are like the party girls of spring with their ruffled skirts and bright colours. Learn more about heirloom bearded iris.
No flower epitomizes the Victorian era like lavender. And it’s not just for grandmothers, but a cherished part of our modern gardens.
This old spring charmer is at home in modern gardens, and is a reminder of a dear friend.
Get the 101 on heirloom morning glories, which I’ve dubbed the “good morning glory.”