July 21, 2011

Genetics Perhaps?

A family reunion hosted by my mom's sister got me thinking about the genetics of gardening...

I've always suspected that this fascination and passion was passed down from my maternal grandmother.  She always had a little garden that she was tending and would lovingly tour us through describing the qualities and attributes of each plant. 

My aunt clearly inherited the gene.  My last visit to her lake house in Louisiana was 6 years ago and they had just bought the property.   Since then, she has transformed the garden into a lush and whimsical place where wandering is a pleasure and simple treasures are found around every corner.


Pieces of furniture are placed throughout and decorative displays are thoughtfully arranged.  One of my favorite uses of furniture was a sturdy, old chair she re-purposed as a plant stand.  




Her style lends itself to a cottage feel with picket fences, artfully placed birdhouses and swaths of colorful perennials.   There is a covered porch with plentiful, comfy seating and expansive views of the lake. It's the perfect setting for a relaxed family gathering.



Butterflies and dragonflies are at home here with seemingly endless supplies of nectar rich flowers to tempt them.  While there is a worrisome shortage of big butterflies in Central Texas, the numerous butterflies in her Louisiana garden bring me relief.









An eye-catching copper sculpture next to the front door announces to visitors that this will be an enchanting garden.








It was special to see how my grandmother's love of gardening has passed through the generations of our family.   My aunt's garden is uniquely hers with her personality woven in among the plants.  But there was also a bit of my grandmother's personality too in the way my aunt spoke to me about each of the plants that she loves.  Maybe others see that in me too when I walk them through my garden. 






18 comments:

  1. I love that sign "relatives by appointment"... I need one of those!

    How wonderful to have a gardening grandmother and aunt in the family. You are certainly blessed.

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  2. Laurrie, isn't that the best sign ever!!?? I love it too!

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  3. Since my garden is filled with plants/feelings of those I love, my heart is with yours on this lovely post. Summer ((hugs)).

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  4. I do like to have a gardening tradition in my family, and it definitely influences me - and my garden. If nothing else, simply because I get plants from my mother's and grandmother's gardens... My two brothers don't seem to care too much for gardening, so I guess two generations of female gardeners is followed up by the gay son/grandson for lack of a daughter. ;-)

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  5. I wonder when we are going to see a university paper on the butterflies? I was at a nature preserve the other day and there was very few, where there should have been hundreds.

    My relatives already have this understanding, but the sign is cute anyway.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your visit. It looks like a lovely garden to relax and enjoy time with family. Beautiful photos too, especially the dragonflies...they have become a new hobby of mine!

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  7. Stunning pics, amazing scenes... like the 'HOME' shot...

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  8. Thanks for the great walk! Wow, I just learned that Hoyas also grow outside. Here we can only keep them as houseplants. And I would kill for a pic of a dragonfly like that. Dragonflies are my favorite insects!!!
    Take care, Sandra

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  9. What a nice thought to think that we may possibly inspire future generations, as those before us have inspired us. And what a great thing to have in common with your relatives. I'm certain talking about your grandmother's garden had heads nodding in agreement.

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  10. Very nice Cat! Dragonfly shots especially - wow!

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  11. I so enjoyed your post and our chat today/color consult...would love to see your home/garden. You are beyond talented...amazing eye for a shot that captures the truly awe inspiring. - susan

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  12. I love your new blog look! Just saw it now. I'm so behind on my blog crawl.

    How heart warming to see evidence of whimsy as a gene. :-D

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  13. What a lovely post Cat, and stunning photos of the dragonflies, so iridescent. Your Aunt's garden looks and sounds delightful, and like all the best gardens a reflection of her own personality. I find myself thinking about my Nan and Grandad a lot when I am gardening. The died long before I discovered gardening, but are still an inspiration. I've no idea if there is a genetic predisposition to garden - I certainly found mine late - but it is a wonderful thing to share.

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  14. What a lovely garden. You made it very special with your photos.

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  15. What a beautiful post, Cat. Wandering through your Aunt's garden, I see shades of your garden: the whimsical touch; the beautifully placed treasures that reflect a story or a memory; the beautiful colorful flowers so artfully arranged. Yes, I would say perhaps it is genetics :) Thanks for a wonderful tour!

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  16. Cat - simply a wonderful post! I love the 'thread' of gardening joy woven through your family history - and you, taking time to share it with your readers... :)

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  17. PS...love the new blog look! :)

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  18. Gardening is in the blood :-) My grandmother was a big gardener, but I'm not sure I appreciated it much when I was a kid. I'd love to go back to see her veggie garden again. And of course we always had a big garden on our farm, and once again, I didn't appreciate it at the time -- just seemed like work. Now I sure wish I could grow veggies like that! Should have paid more attention :-) I think gardening is a passion we can share with family and hopefully they catch the enthusiasm and carry it on :-)

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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