As well as providing my family with nutritious organic food, maintaining a garden and my love for football, whenever I have a spare moment I love to read. Nothing is better than sinking your teeth in a good book, but recently through having a regular spot (gratefully) with Notcutts, I have been getting more involved in personal blogs.
Reading the Gardener’s World blog, I came across one piece in particular that sparked my curiosity. ‘Plants that evoke memories’ was the title and it instantly got me thinking of all the fragrances that remind me of past events. The smell of freshly cut grass reminds me of the summers lazing on the lawn, the smell of damp leaves remind me of kicking autumn leaves off the ground and the scent of daffodils generate fond memories of spring.
In this article, Kate Bradbury talks about her experience of how the gardening world can evoke personal memories after her trip to the community orchard at Haggerston Park.
“Planted in one of the tree pits was some monarda, (commonly known as bee balm or bergamot). My partner hadn’t seen these flowers before and the name was on the tip of my tongue. I smelt them to jog my memory and, instead of coming up with the name of the plant, I was instantly transported back to the kitchen of the house I grew up in. On red floor tiles just inside the pantry, next to bottles of squash and my mum’s wine-making kit, was a brown ceramic vase containing dried flowers. Some of those flowers must have been monarda.”
Continuing to read, I found myself relating to the article through my own experiences. When Mrs McGregor and I took a trip to the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park I subconsciously familiarised myself with plants by the means of my memories. I remember walking past a beautiful display of Crocosmia x croc. George Davison and for the life of me I couldn’t recall the name. However, looking back, I do remember reliving a memory; I was somewhat younger and a lot more youthful when I was first introduced to this plant. I can recall a vivid image of my mother wearing her tatty old gardening gloves, kneeling on a matt and removing the weeds that surrounded the plant.
It’s fascinating how much I can remember by just the scent of a flower and slightly odd that a scent can trigger an encyclopaedia of memories. It proves how personal gardening is and that no matter how common a plant is, it can mean different things to different people.