Remembering People Through Plants

For many, January is a month of new beginnings.  A time for making resolutions and implementing changes.  For me, January is a sad month, because two years ago in January, my father passed away after a brief battle with cancer. 

From the moment he passed, I wanted to do something to memorialize him in my garden and in the gardens of my mother and sister.  I was perusing an online plant catalogue when I saw what I thought would be the perfect plant – a ‘Tom Cat’ peony.  After all, my dad’s name was Tom and he worked for Caterpillar Tractor for 30+ years.  I quickly purchased three, one for each of us.
‘Tom Cat’ Peony

 Peonies have always been special to my family.  My father’s father was a passionate gardener.  He loved peonies for the fragrant, cut flowers they produced, and planted many of them on his farm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  These beloved peonies were divided many times and shared with family members.  Descendants of the originals call my garden home.  I planted my ‘Tom Cat’ peony in a place of honor, separate from the others.  My ‘Tom Cat’ thrives on the sunny side of my house along the walkway to my front door.  A place where my dad would like to have been, warmly greeting guests as they arrived for a visit.

I encourage you to consider a special plant as a living tribute to a special person who graced your life.  There are numerous cultivars to choose from including those with names applicable to a broad audience like the ‘Remember Me’ hosta, and those with specific names like LOROPETALUM chinense var. rubrum ‘Kitty’s Choice,’ which I selected for a friend who lost her mother ‘Kitty’ recently.  Can you think of a better way to say I miss you and you will be with me always?  I can’t….
‘Remember Me’ Hosta

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