Saturday, August 11, 2012

Passed Along Pleasures

It's always a great joy when somebody gifts you a plant or when you can pass along a favorite plant to a friend.  Witness "Greggo's Sedum", a gift from Greggo when he visited my garden a few weeks back.  In the midst of drought, with everything fighting for survival, there could be no more useful gift than a succulent, even if it is one purloined from a distant garden during the travels of a friend. 

Greggo, as you can see, the sedum clippings survived, rooted, and are even getting ready to flower.  It's somewhat sad to be fearful about the drought resistance of a succulent, but I think I'll hold off planting it out into the garden for awhile until I'm sure it can survive the drought.  I don't want to risk this memory of friendship, any more than I would risk the divisions of sedums from my maternal grandmother that have grown for years in my garden.

Almost two decades ago, in the infancy of my gardening education, I came across a delightful book named Passalong Plants, authored by Steve Bender and Felder Rushing and published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1993.  As the title suggests, Passalong Plants is a descriptive collection of heirloom plants that are often gifted from gardener to gardener, mother to daughter or father to son in the gardens of the South. It's about old plants and old friends, varieties that aren't often found at nursery centers, but which can anchor a regional garden because they've survived the climate of time.  These beautiful plants are all described in, as the foreword by Allen Lacy states, "a distinctive voice, folksier and colloquial and playful."  If you can find a copy, it is one of the most delightful reads of "modern" gardening literature.  Along the way, amidst the humor and joy of gardening in the words, you'll learn about plants that need to be found for your own garden, about the delightful stories of their provenance and value to the gardeners who grow them, and you'll be reminded of all the wonderful plants you already have that represent friends and family in your own garden. 


  1. Passalong plants are some of the best pleasures in my garden. I have two sedums in pots beside my front porch, an old fashioned pink flowered variety whose name I cannot remember right now ... Divisions of hostas and bearded iris ... Daffodil bulbs ... And roses, of course. Each of these is a reminder of a friendship.

  2. Thanks for your mention and friendship. Your starts are doing better than mine. lol. But I guess in this drought success is survival. I still haven't found out the variety name yet, however. Hopefully we will get some rain during our cool down.


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