In California, I grew roses. Not just any roses, but roses I picked out by name. They all had meaning to me: Peace (for obvious reasons), Lucille Ball (I LOVE her), Abraham Lincoln (my stepdad shared his birthday), Sterling Silver (my friend had given me Sterling Silver roses for my 25th birthday), and then there was Gemini… my favorite because of my Grammy, Shirley, who died in May 2001. She and I were both Geminis born in June, our birthdays just a week apart, and we both loved roses.
When we moved to NC, I decided not to move my rose bushes, which were all potted. I gave a couple to friends, but my sister got the bulk of them. She planted them and babied them, but, sadly, she no longer lives in that house. Sure, I could buy those roses again, but they don’t do so well here in NC.
Enter hosta, my new love. They are all named, but I decided right off that I wouldn’t drive myself crazy trying to find ones that have some meaning. I would just plant them like crazy. You see, we have a very shady lot, and they love shade. They are hundreds of varieties and they are so varied… some have big flat leaves, some are ribbed, some are skinny with a white border, some have curled up leaves. But they are all lush. My favorite so far is Sum and Substance… it’s huge and tropical looking. I planted two last year and several more this year. All told, I have probably 40, and will likely add several more this spring.
During today’s trip to Garden Supply, I came across the most wonderful find: a sweet little hosta with just six little leaves. It didn’t look sad, but it looked like it needed a home. I picked it up and found that it was only $6.99… a steal. And it was called … wait for it … June. I almost cried. Without even trying, I found one with meaning. And since it’s not going to be very big, I decided to put it in a pot I got from Grammy’s house after she died. I might even name it Shirley.
A fitting tribute as the 10th anniversary of her death approaches. On May 3, I plan to sit with Shirley and wonder if my Grammy knew about hostas (she lived in the CA desert). I’d like to think that she has seen mine.