Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Planted It For My Mother

The spring she passed away.
For remembrance
For honoring
and because planting a witch hazel was
a funny nod to our complicated and loving relationship.

Hamamelis vernalis blossoms in the winter
When we have just about given up hope
that spring will ever arrive.

On warm days
the crepe paper streamer petals unfurl and
its sweet scent drifts about.

Believe me when I tell you this~
I know that my mother is somewhere laughing
that her remembrance tree is a witch
hazel.


Gail

47 comments:

  1. It is the sweetest remembrance, a flowering tree in winter to honor her, Gail. I remember your post about her blooming late in life. It was moving and heart felt. My sympathies go to you for the loss of her still stings, I know. The sting will never go away, but will lessen as time goes on. {{{{U}}}}
    Frances

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  2. Frances, My mother told me that she missed her mother everyday of her life and at the time, being very young and full of myself, I didn't get it! Thank you for remembering that original post~~You would have loved her wicked good sense of humor!

    gail

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  3. I should plant one of those too. My Mother would appreciate being remembered in such a way.

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  4. Hee hee, a witch hazel would have been a good tree to remember my grandmother by -- her name was Hazel Pauline and boy did the name ever fit!

    Bernice has such orange flowers. It's a seedling, isn't it?

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  5. I like anything that bears hope of spring.
    Donna

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  6. Sweetbay, You remembered her name...You are a doll! She could be, but not from my garden. I purchased B from Growild and they propagate their plants. Gail

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  7. Good morning Gail. I'm a very sentimental person. I've kept lots of odd stuff to remember loved ones and friends. Still, there is something special about a living thing, like your tree. Something that grows and changes. It's a wonderful choice.
    Marnie

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  8. Plants can be a wonderful remembrance and gift for the ones we love. My fringe flower was the first sign of beauty in my garden. :)

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  9. Such a lovely tribute to your Mom, Gail. Hamamelis are one of the bestest trees ever, don't you think and they flower when no one else does. I'm going to an arboretum next sunday to look at their vast collection of Hamamelis trees and am sure I will be thinking of you and how you miss your Mom.

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  10. A wonderful memorial to your mother... and that the tree is the star in the garden at a time when other plants are sleeping.

    Cameron

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  11. This is sweet and I can 'relate' to the name of the plant in your Mom's memory....

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  12. Hi, Gail;
    What a sweet post. Not sure I've mentioned this before. If I have, apologies...

    I lost my Mom a few years ago. Which felt way too early in life since I was mid 40's. :( Anyhoo... I carefully removed all of the peonies from her lifelong home and transplanted them in my garden. Whenever I see them blooming it makes me think of her.

    Thanks for this one.

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  13. A beautiful post Gail, and the Hamamelis vernalis is a lovely tribute to your Mother, and your complex, loving relationship with each other.
    K

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  14. What a touching post. I think a Witch Hazel is a fine tribute, I love them all.

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  15. Your title makes my eyes water Gail! Beautiful poem... so touching and sweet. The link of humor between you and your mother still... is precious. A lovely image to go with this special post. ;>) Carol

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  16. Beautiful - the witch hazel, the photo, and the sentiment. Just beautiful.

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  17. Lovely... and I like the idea that your mother is laughing somewhere, thinking of "witch hazel" as her remembrance tree. (My mother would be amused, too.)

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  18. Ah Gail, I loved reading this. How nice that you've dedicated this festive tree to your mom. Witch-hazel does bring up all sorts of 'complicated' ideas and thoughts, doesn't it?! So much like (most) of our relationships with our moms.

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  19. Plants are such a personal way of remembering different people - when I lost my Granny a few years ago - one of her favorite colours was red and so chose a tree and a rose and a beautiful striped Phormium to remember her by - each offering something different during the seasons... I absolutely love the Hamamellis and have this on my list of "Must Haves"! Take care Miranda x

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  20. Hi Gail, I remember when you first planted (and posted about) this. I'd never heard of Witch hazel until then. It's very distinctive - as I'm sure your mother was. I love that you and I, and many others, have living, loving reminders of special people that have graced our lives. Have a wonderful day!

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  21. I think I remember reading about your mother's passing. I'm glad you picked a witch hazel. Stately tall trees are good for rememberances, but how nice to be remembered with a plant that adds its beauty of form and fragrance to one of the dullest, sometimes depressing times of the year. A real stand out and much appreciated!

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  22. Gail, I think planting a tree is memory of someone special is one of the best remembrances one, especially a gardener, can give. May this tree continue to flourish for you.

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  23. This is a wonderful way to honor a loved one's memory!

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  24. Oh my goodness Gail, this made me smile. A witch hazel. It could be symbolic of your relationship with your mother.~~Dee

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  25. I love it. Great punch line, Gail!

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  26. A beautiful tree for a beautiful lady. I didn't know her but I've come to know her daughter, somewhat. The daughter I know is a sensitive, caring,concerned beautiful person.
    I do like the witch hazel.

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  27. Lovely tribute to your mother in the form of a wonderful winter bloomer. Every winter I am surprised at the sweet fragrance that drifts through the air...letting you know she is there.
    Both our mothers are still with us, but both our dads are gone. My dad is there in song. Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding) was his song....for years after he died I would hear that song out of the blue, whenever I was especially down or missing him. As it was already an 'oldie' the fact is had air time was serendiptious. Saturday will be 18 years that he is gone. I hear it less now, but those first years, it was like Dad was looking down, letting me know he was watching over me.
    oxxoxo

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  28. We all track back to our mothers. Whether we want to or not we measure who we are and how far we've come by who they were and who we were with them.

    You chose a sweet-scented tree that blooms in winter when the land is barren. Your mother's gifts to you may not have come easy but you're more complete for them.

    I'm glad you shared this. Beautiful picture and thought-provoking sentiment.

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  29. Your mother must have been a hoot, Gail. What a lovely flower and an ahem... lovely way to remember your mom. LOL

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  30. A wonderful way to remember your mother, Gail. I remember your writing when she passed away that she "bloomed" late in life. The witch hazel with its bright blooms in the throes of winter seems so appropriate. Thinking of you this morning,

    Rose

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  31. A great way to remember her! When almost nothing else is blooming, her tree is.

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  32. That's a sweet remembrance of your mother Gail.

    I'm glad you liked my story on my blog. What type work do you do?

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  33. Susie, I'm a psychotherapist and stories and metaphors are great ways for clients to hear life lessons. Thanks for asking. gail

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  34. Hi Gail~
    What a great remembrance plant for a complicated relationship. Beautiful, strong, delicate and mysterious all at the same time.
    Blessings to you!
    ~Karrita

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  35. Your mom lives on with fond memories and this beautiful plant in the middle of winter! She is indeed giggling with you about the Witch Hazel…

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  36. My dad's rememberance tree is a Prunus cistina... it's complicated! Love your witch hazel.

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  37. Gail....you truly touched my heart.......

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  38. I remember your post about your Mother too Gail. Of course I didn't know her but I bet she would find your choice of tree humorous. She has to love you all the more for planting something in her honor. I know I would be so touched.

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  39. She is indeed a lovely little tree Gail, and a wonderfully sweet, loving, and humorous tribute. Her blossoms are brilliant.

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  40. A beautiful remembrance, Gail. I love witch hazel and can't believe I don't have one ... shame on me :(

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  41. Gail, such a wonderful tribute to your Mom! She sounds like she had a wonderful sense of humor too!

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  42. Blooms of Halloween Orange in mid-February call for a sense of humor, too, Gail - hope that would give your mom a smile, too.

    It does look like a complicated blossom!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  43. Gail girl .. I think your mother would truly enjoy your dedication of this tree .. I love the fact that it is a witch hazel (I would like one too !) and that you said your mom had a wicked sense of humour .. she would think it was perfect too ! : )
    You have good memmories to think of and that is a wonderful gift : )

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  44. Gail, I've also got plants planted for the reason that they remind me of my mum. Plants that I didn't even like when she was alive but that I felt that I needed when she was no longer with us. Everyday they remind me of her in a beautiful way and I care fo them a lot. I still miss here and probably always will. She was only fiftyfive years when she left us

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  45. I love that bloom! I'm glad you have it to remember your mother by. My mother is still alive. Since we live in the house Larry grew up in, I have my mother-in-law's peonies and some hostas to remember her by.

    A very good friend of hers, who became my in-laws substitute mother, and her husband, father died a week ago, and the funeral is Tuesday. I have known her since I started dating Larry in high school. I am very sad that she didn't live to see our kitchen remodel. Before we moved into our house, she took me to get the paint, and insisted we get off white for all of the rooms. She also paid for it, and never did let us pay her back. She taught me her method of painting, and wouldn't let others besides the two of us paint. She won't get to see the kitchen painted a different color.

    Well, I will have to dedicate something in the kitchen to her memory.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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