The Properly Named Garden
Photo by Melody

The Properly Named Garden

By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)December 22, 2008
bookmark

The cold has pretty much set in hard here in Colorado. The pond is closed down for winter, the perennials have all entered their dormant sleep, and I have let go of the gardens while nature takes care of them for several months. What will I do with my time now that the weather is prohibitively cold? I plan on brainstorming for new, bigger, and better planned gardens for next year.

Gardening picture

I am the type that keeps a special few people close to my heart.  I don't have an extraordinary amount of friends and loved ones but those I count in that group will be with me in one way or another forever.  

Especially with my move from Texas a little over 2 years ago, I left many of my friends and family a thousand miles or more away.  To quell my cabin fever and homesickness in one fell swoop this winter, I am planning a Properly Named garden.  In this special garden, I plan on putting some flowers and plant cultivars that are named with or similar to my loved ones' names. 

I know yours will be different, but I will share with you mine and hopefully inspire you to plan your own.  I also know that it might be years before I actually acquire some of these plants, but knowing that they exist and might someday exist in my garden gives me peace. 

 

Genevieve

Genevieve is my paternal grandmother, from whom I got my nose, my laugh, and my liberal spirit.  She is still living in Oklahoma and a testament to will power and tenacity.  She's had more joints replaced in the past ten years than I knew possible.  One of my most joyful memories is of her and my grandfather dancing at my wedding, cane-free, as the winner of the longest married couples' dance (55 years then), not a year after her shoulder replacement. 

Image
  Daylily, 'Genevieve Barry'

 

Image

Marianne

Marianne was my maternal grandmother, from whom I got my artistic passion and talent as well as my love of red geraniums and silk scarves.  Manu, as I named her when my lips were too small to say her real name, was my first and best art teacher; a watercolorist and world traveler who painted birds, flowers, and exotic landscapes.  She passed four years ago and remains the most impacting person in my life.  These plants would bring me a peace beyond their pretty flower.

Image
Abutilon, 'Marianne' 

 Daylily, 'Marianne Cox' (photo courtesy of Nancy Oakes of Red Lane Gardens)

 

Jan, Anne, and Allison 

In my life I've had friends, and then I've had Jan, Anne, and Allison.  These are my college girlfriends whom I don't talk with often, but when we do get together it's like nothing has changed except our locations and usually our hairstyles.  Jan is in Houston, Anne is in Oklahoma, and Allison is in Washington D.C., which puts us just about as far away from each other as four people can get.  When they came to visit this past summer, they all loved my gardens and enjoyed sitting next to my pond as much as I do.  Having a reminder of them will bring joy to my garden. 

ImageImageImage
Rose, 'Jan's Wedding'Lantana, 'Anne Marie' Daylily, 'Allison's Wedding' 

 

Nancy, Lee, and James

My immediate family including my mother, Nancy, father, Lee and brother, James, all still live in Texas.  My brother is in Lubbock and my parents still live in Houston.  That's an eighteen hour drive across Texas, New Mexico and Colorado which isn't made very often.  I don't have to explain how much these people mean to me and how much I miss them.  As I looked for the plants I want to represent them, I found some funny things.  There's actually a dahlia that combines my parents names, 'Nancilee,' and I especially like the Iris, 'Oh James.' Fitting for a (formerly?) mischievous younger brother, don't you think?  These flowers would make a beautiful garden even if they didn't mean so much.

ImageImageImage
Iris, 'Nancy's Lace'Iris, 'James Bond'Daylily, 'Lee Pickles'
ImageImageImage
Iris, 'Oh James' Dahlia, 'Nancilee'Chinese Peony, 'Fancy Nancy'

 

Becki, Jamie, and Susie

Everyone has fun aunts, but with any luck you have smart, caring, and involved aunts like I do.  Becki, Jamie, and Susie are three of my aunts that have been quite influential in my life.  Becki is a fellow green thumb, who once upon a time taught me to braid hair; with Jamie I have fond memories of "seat belt checks" and certain dress up mask named Clarabell; and Susie is who I am named for.  She also taught me to crochet and summer visits to see her in my youth led me to fall in love with Colorado, which is where I live now.  The brugmansia in the thumbnail at the top of the article is a cultivar called 'Susanne' as well.  What a colorful spot my aunts will give me in my garden.

ImageImageImage
Viola, 'Rebecca'Daylily, 'Jamie Dockery'Begonia, 'Susanne' 

 

Image

Karen and Sarah

Karen is my oldest best friend. We've known each other since we were 13 and have seen each other through some wild things, both good and bad.  She still lives in my hometown of Houston and is almost done with a Juris Doctorate in animal law.  Sarah is a newer friend, but she was a fast one.  She's a fellow artist, teacher, and gardener.  I taught her everything I know about plants and now she can grow them better than I can!  A garden named for my loved ones wouldn't be complete without these ladies.

Image
Iris, 'Karen'   Lilac, 'Sarah Sands'

 

Zoe, Simon, and Violet

Since I don't have "real" kids yet, my furkids will have place in my garden named for them.  Violet, the yellow-eyed gray kitty, is an easy one to find in plants obviously.  Simon and Zoe, my two large mutts are a little trickier to plant for.  But I've found some beautiful, full sun flowers to represent them in the garden.  Not that they let me get too far out of their sight when I'm gardening...

 

ImageImageImage
 Rose, 'Simon Bolivar'Hibiscus, 'Zoey'Cleome, 'Violet Queen'

Now how did I find all of these plants with which to plan my special garden? I'm sure there are many ways to do it, but I went to the Plant Files search function and typed my loved ones' names in to the cultivar box.  Short names like Jan and Lee are more difficult because they occur in many other common plant names.  I just looked until I found a beautiful plant or flower that I would want in my garden.  It seems like there are so many varieties of iris and daylilies that I had plenty of options, not to mention all the annual and tropical cultivars out there.

So have fun planning your own Properly Named Garden with your loved ones in mind and create a wonderful reminder of those you love and miss.

 

Thanks to the wonderful contributors of Plant Files for their images:

Iris 'Nancy's Lace - AggiegrlRose 'Jan's Wedding' - Grampapa Daylily 'Jamie Dockery' - Mystic 
Iris 'James Bond' - BootandallAbutilon 'Marianne' - KellDahlia 'Nancilee' - Mgh
Rose 'Simon Bolivar' - Calif_SueBegonia 'Susanne' - KniphofiaIris 'Karen' - Puttytat
Cleome 'Violet Queen' - CrimsonDaylily 'Lee Pickes' - MainiacDaylily 'Genevieve Barry' - quiltlily
Brugmansia 'Susanne' - dottnmdDaylily 'Allison's Wedding' - Mellissa_OhioPeony 'Fancy Nancy' - Sanannie
Hibiscus 'Zoey' - ecrane3Iris 'Oh James' - mghViola 'Rebecca' - Saya
Lantana 'Anne Marie' - Fleurone Lilac 'Sarah Sands' - Todd_Boland

Daylily 'Marianne Cox' - Nancy Oakes from http://www.redlanegardens.com/

 


  About Susanne Talbert  
Susanne TalbertI garden in beautiful Colorado Springs, half a mile from Garden of the Gods. Since we bought our first house two years ago, I have been busy revamping my 1/4 acre of ignored decomposed granite. My garden passions include water gardening, vines, super-hardy perennials, and native xerics. By day, I am a high school ceramics teacher as well as a ceramicist and painter.

  Helpful links  
Share on Facebook Share on Stumbleupon

[ Mail this article | Print this article ]

» Read articles about: Garden Design And Landscaping, Winter Gardening, Perennial Flowers

» Read more articles written by Susanne Talbert

« Check out our past articles!



Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
Touching... darius 1 16 Dec 23, 2008 9:29 PM
Lovely idea Sharran 8 55 Dec 23, 2008 4:38 AM
Repeat reply ACWinOH 0 10 Dec 22, 2008 7:37 PM
I've Done Similar PrimroseSue 0 14 Dec 22, 2008 4:17 PM
another option onewish1 0 40 Dec 22, 2008 11:05 AM
Theme Garden Kathy5 0 25 Dec 22, 2008 9:43 AM
You cannot post until you login.


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America