MEMORY CONTAINERS - SHARON HADDEN
I am so fortunate with my job to have the opportunity to take my clients ideas and create the containers or window boxes of their dreams. When it comes to building my own containers I strangely sometimes struggle with new ideas. Pondering on this I thought that it would be fun to try and source plants that trigger memories of happy times and fill my container with joy, maybe the plants remind me of a place where I saw them growing, from a time of carefree pleasure in my life or that their scent was so evocative triggering my memory. I have loved this project and would recommend attempting to do this. I have enjoyed wandering around garden centers looking and plants with a different perspective, not where will this fit in a design or spot in my garden but where does this one fit into my plant memory life. I have meandered around sniffing everything and being amazed at the places I am instantly transported to. My inner smile has warmed me and made me glow with happy memories.
So what does my memory container contain and why have I chosen each plant?
Camellia x williamsii Donation, takes me to a special and beautiful house in a forest that I lived in which had a wonderful cobbled walled courtyard with a magical well. In it were the most beautiful Camellias that would burst into flower very early every year. The pleasure of watching them come into bud and unfurl their flowers was such a treat the show was breathtaking.
Rosemary zooms me straight to the south of France specifically Juan les Pins where I had a house with a rosemary hedge, running my fingers through to release the scent plops me straight there, sipping wine and watching the bees in the mediterranean sunshine.
Primrose ‘cottage cream’ is a double whammy, I am 5 years old and my brother is 6 and with my Dad we are standing in a ditch in the countryside where we lived with our little legs stretched out across the width of the ditch picking primroses for Mothers Day, Dad would show us how to pick the leaves and place them around the flowers to make a posy to give to Mum. The ditch was completely filled with flowers and the scent was soft and gentle and buttery. The second memory is planting one of my old dogs grave with primroses, she died in March and every year as they bloom where she rests I sit amongst them and think of her and all the special times we had together.
Erigeron ‘Profusion’ this sweet little plant wins a place in my memory container reminding me of my Mum and more specifically her creating my passion for plants and gardening. Erigeron would creep around the cracks and rocks in Mums rockery which she would spent hours and hours weeding and planting, I would help and sit perched on a large piece of flint imagining fairies and elves living in amongst the stones.
Jasmine takes me off on my travels again to Sardinia where I would stay in a fantastic hotel and outside the door was a jasmine arch, they were carefree times as I would run out of the hotel off to the beach or to meet friends the perfume would wrap itself around me and I would pinch a few flowers to lift and smell on my way.
Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete tucked away in the soil waiting to burst through are bulbs of narcissus these represent my current and future memories, every year I plant them and wait for them to emerge, they always spur me on for what is to come in the year, they are for me the first flowers of my gardening year.
This has been such a fun project and I have enjoyed it. I can truly recommend putting together a memory container maybe you don't even need to plant it but just plan it, spend some time being mindful and letting your thoughts roam through your life in plants and chose the plants that have the happiest of memories. You will be transported. Don't be surprised if you feel emotional when doing this exercise, I was really surprised how many plants meant so much to me and how emotional I felt. I am grateful for the opportunity to have done this. I would love you to share your memory containers with me, plants have so many stories to tell.
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