If I remember correctly, the first time I thought or learned about heirloom flowers in my family, was when my mom told me her lilies-of-the-valley were originally from her grandmother’s house. I have yet to figure out if they came from my Great Grandma Hanson or Great Grandma Petersen, but they grew at my Grandma Pete’s for years and I think several family members have splits from them. These will forever hold a special place with me as the first “blooming heirloom” passed along to me.
Many see these tiny white bells as an invasive, little weed. It creeps through fence lines and continues to pop up each spring despite all efforts to eradicate it. Personally, I love them (they smell so good and are so pretty). Our house is no exception to the invaders. When we moved in, the entire back fence line had them growing, and there is a large patch along the back of the house too. I just mow them down after blooming.
When my mom gave me a clump of my great-grandmother’s Lilies-of-the-Valley from her yard, I had to figure out how I would keep them separate from the current patches. At the time, I worked for a garden center and had the chance to take home a large ceramic pot that had broken into a few pieces. I glued it back together and buried it about half way into one of my existing flower beds. So far, the pot has never heaved from the ground and the lilies haven’t spread from it. I will probably need to split them out more often to keep them healthy.
Each Spring they are sweet reminder of the generations of gardeners before me. I’m also a huge fan of partially buried pot! It gives a little bit of extra interest!