I love old garden books. There was a charm and simplicity that is absent in our go-get em culture of the 21st century. I actually think I would’ve preferred the 19th or early 20th century, but here I am…..an heirloom flower lover stuck in the middle of the technological age of the 21st century. Luckily, I have old flower bulbs to keep me grounded and connected to the old garden ways of the past. I relate to the stories of old garden books, which is probably why I love them so much.
Over the Holidays, I discovered Margaret Lawrence and her beautiful little book about bulbs. I posted a picture of the quaint little book on Instagram, and you would’ve thought that I had won the lottery. Gardeners from all over commented on how much they love the writings of Margarent Lawrence. I had thought that I had unearthed a garden book treasure, only to discover that it was way behind the times. Apparatly, most gardeners who know about Margaret Lawrence absolutely adore her. Where had I been? How did I miss finding out about such a charming writer? Whatever the reason, I am happy to have found her little book on bulbs.
In her little book, Elizabeth Lawrence expressed her thoughts about feeling anxious with the care of her gardens after she was gone. I really connected with that thought…..especially when one puts so much blood, sweat and tears into creating a garden.. I, too, have had this anxiousness from time to time. I remember going back to my gardens in Dallas, only find the gardens had been flattened and replaced with grass. The remnants of the flooded house also remind me that nothing is forever…..except possibly an heirloom bulb.
Heirloom Flower Bulbs, like an Oxblood Lily, Paperwhite or Spider Lily, will actually outlive their human gardeners. I’ve blogged in satire before about how to kill an Heirloom Bulb. (Ha) One must work *really hard* to destroy something so wonderfully hardy. I still find bulbs that appear at the flooded house, even though I have spent the last few years digging EVERYTHING out. It is amazing the endurance Heirloom Bulbs have!!
As I get older, I find myself sharing more and holding on less. Maybe that’s why there are no prices on the bulbs in this website. How can one oay for a flower that has outlived my Grandparents? Somehow, it feels wrong to charge money for something that nature created. I am well aware of the cost of an Oxblood Lily. Some Southern Bulb sites actually charge $5-15 dollars!!!!! I could never be able to afford such a flower….and yet, everyone should be able to experience the redemptive beauty of the Oxblood Lily. If you are unfamiliar with old bulbs, read a few of my past blogs about the amazing personalities of these old gals. The life lessons I’ve learned throughout the years is reason enough for me to rejoice in planting Heirloom Flowers. I can honestly say that I am the best version of me when I am in the garden. Feel free to email me with questions or comments about your own gardens. I’d love to share a few bulbs with you too.
Thank you, Elizabeth Lawrence, for your charming little book. And thank you, dear readers, for treasuring Heirloom Bulbs as much as I do. I imagine a world with flowers for every season in every yard I see. Many of you send pictures of your flower bulbs in bloom. I can’t tell you enough what a gift that is to my soul.
May the Lord richly bless you this year with peace, love and garden beauty. Happy Gardening, my friends!