Presence of Perennial Colour for/from Elderly Parents


Back in September 1991, when we were just married, I never imagined that the pink Camellia that my father helped me to chose and plant in our back garden would be such a source of delight on some of the darkest days of the year.

The Camellia’s first bloom caught my eye the other morning through a haze of thick, muggy mist and it was like a bright smile brought forward from other times.

I love the idea of perennials bringing joy year after year. A tiny shrub that you give to, or receive from,  your elderly mother or father may serve to build a lasting and colourful connection that has huge meaning ~ even years after the parent has passed.

Sharing in the planting of the shrub and making that moment memorable and fun definitely adds to the everlasting impact.

I’d love to hear about particular shrubs that you associate with your elderly parents/or grown-up children. 




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

16 thoughts on “Presence of Perennial Colour for/from Elderly Parents”

  1. I have a memory garden dedicated to the people that have passed. Some are shrubs, some are trees and others perennials. When I see them bloom in reminds me that I haven’t forgotten as time does deplete memories.

  2. My Mother loved roses and my father loved the Australian bush so I often think of them when I am wandering past rose gardens and out bushwalking. When speaking of Ireland which she didn’t very often, Mum used to tell us how beautiful the Tomnafinogie Woods near her home were and how she loved to go for a walk with her friends on a Saturday afternoon. The camilia in the photo is such a wonderful colour. It is raining today with the smell of bushfire smoke in the air. Nothing near us but I think we are on watch now for the summer.

        1. WOW, I know that area well, having worked up there over a year or two back in the 1980s. Small world, indeed. I’ll be sure to check out the woods next time I’m up that way.

  3. We have a flowering dogwood tree that my husbands Mom & Dad gave to us on our anniversary many years ago..It has undergone great changes but still survives just like when you marry and your life together weathers all kinds of scenarios. If it’s nurtured and loved it will survive which I can attest to that being married for 56 years. We also have a flowering golden chain tree that our youngest son and wife gave to us years ago..this blooms profusely every year.

  4. We have chrysanthemums growing in the rockery in our garden and every Autumn they give a wonderful burst of colour and remembrance. Dads sister dug some of these from her garden more than 55 years ago for our garden and when we moved house Dad brought some with him. My Dad decades later then gave me some which I planted in our rockery and they continue to flourish each year. They are a lovely burnt orange colour these are flowers that I will always cherish along with the memories of those gone before us.

  5. Hi Elen, yes moving house can be complicated in all sorts of ways, including leaving trees and the like behind. I’m glad to hear about the Iris. I hope it continues to flourish for you.

  6. I’m no gardening expert, yet the Winter Jasmine from my mother’s garden persists every year! In fact it’s taking up half a wall now, and spreading onto another one – must be a poem in there somewhere! Happy Christmas to you and yours, Jean!

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