Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition

The Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition (SPPOTGWLS or “the Society”) was recently formed and held their first meeting.

Members present included the founder, me, who has appointed herself President and Secretary.

The following minutes were recorded by the Secretary (me):

Carol, May Dreams Gardens, (me, again) was admonished for making up some old-time gardening superstition that was not based on any old time lore when she posted about orienting beans east/west when planting them. However, because she also posted about other known gardening wisdom, no sanctions were called for.

But, the society would like an explanation at some future time as to why she would have hoes in her house.

Based on comments received on the previous post about gardening superstitions, the Society sensed that some gardeners would like to do away with the long-standing superstition that thanking someone for giving them a passalong plant will cause it to not grow in the recipient’s garden. “It’s hard not to say thank you” says Pam/Digging, a potential member of the Society.

While the Society would like it known that just because something is hard to do is not a good reason not to do it, they are willing to consider a change to this superstition so that gardeners can thank each other for passalong plants without fear of killing the plants. In fact, the President of the Society (me) noted that she has thanked people for passalong plants without realizing it, with no ill effects.

By comment below, potential Society members (anyone) should indicate if they are in favor of changing this or would like to leave it as is. The official Book of Old Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore and Superstition will then be updated accordingly.

The Society then entertained a motion to adopt a new garden superstition offered by Annie in Austin,

“If you are planning to have people come over and look at your garden, do NOT speak the date of the visit aloud. If you do, the roses and daylilies will hear your plan and stubbornly bloom the day before and the day after but they will not open while the guests are there.”

The only current member (me) believes this to be valid superstition, as her Tiger Lilies, Hemerocallis fulva, pictured above, were not blooming on the day before bloom day, when she had to get her Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post up (as the hostess of bloom day) and so she ordered the wild daylilies not to bloom on the 15th as she recorded on her post that they were not blooming. But they bloomed anyway on the 15th, thus making a liar out of her. This proves that plants can hear us and do as they as please.

All in favor of this new superstition may indicate such agreement via a comment and if the motion is approved, this wisdom will be added to the Book of Old Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore and Superstition.

After discussion about how many bloom day posts the President (me) needs to view and comment on and exclamations about all the beautiful flowers blooming every where in June, the meeting was adjourned.

After the meeting, the members (me) enjoyed another bowl of fresh strawberries brought to the meeting by the President/Secretary (me, again). Let the minutes reflect they were delicious.

If any potential members have other business for the Society to consider, please indicate such via a comment or email.

Minutes submitted by:
Carol, May Dreams Gardens


  1. I vote in favor of both motions. All say "Aye!"~~Dee

  2. Ha Ha. Carol you crack me up. But as a gardener petitioning for acceptance into the Society, I vote in favor of abolishing the not saying Thank you superstition and also in favor of adopting the superstition that plants can hear as my iris acted exactly as your tiger lilies did.

  3. Personally I think that as long as you are eating strawberries - the good ones, not the supermarket variety - saying thank you for pass along plants is acceptable. Eating tomatoes or other garden treats also supersede such old traditions.

  4. Any mention of Hoes makes me guffaw. God, Carol, I wish I could be here every single day. I'm trying!!!!

  5. Im in favor of both as well. I would hate the thought of all my pass alongs going away.

  6. Yes! We should change the old superstition and let people say thanks! Very cute post.

  7. Madame President,
    Thank you for considering the garden superstition I submitted. It will be interesting to see if other potential members offer additional evidence as to its veracity.

    Carol - I loved that twitter comment that nothing was waiting to be planted so you needed more plants! Are gardeners allowed to have everything planted? There must be a superstition about never having an empty potting bench!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Oh good grief, I think I could win the having-the-most-plants-waiting to-be-planted contest. And I agree with the abolishing the no saying thank you rule. I hate that one. I was raised to have manners, and not saying thank you is too hard for me.

  9. I agree with both recommendations and would like to sign up as a member of the society. Maybe I can contribute international superstitions and the society can then verify its intercultural trueness.

  10. Please consider my application for membership to 'The Society'. I have been gardening for many years and, while my enthusiasm wanes occasionally (when the 'native plants' threaten to take over) it is in full force ninety nine per cent of the time. Should membership be granted, I would like to vote 'Aye' on being able to say 'Thank you' for any herbaceous or woody plant gift. This should be at the discretion of the receiver as some will feel that tradition should stand.

  11. 'Aye' to both, says I! I can attest that saying thank you for passalongs does not keep them from living and growing! Pure nonsense! Manners must be used!
    Oh yes, plants do hear us..and act accordingly. Some are more stubborn than others, which makes us appreciate the cooperative ones :)
    After all that work you certainly deserved a bowl of strawberries. What a lot of hats you wear!

  12. I would vote aye also. It just feels wrong & ungrateful not to say "thank you," & the giver may not be aware of the superstition & might think you were raised by wolves (or coyotes depending on where you were raised). How about a superstition that as soon as you complain (or consider publicly complaining) that a plant never blooms in your garden, it promptly makes a fool of you by doing so.

  13. I vote "aye" also (if you allow me into your society).

    At the next meeting, please be sure and bring enough strawberries for everyone.

    Thank you

  14. Blogging has added a new dimension to gardening. When I come in from the garden in tears because the squirrel has eaten the only tomatoes that were not destroyed by the leaf footed bugs, the parsley has withered away for no reason and the squash has finally given up to the vine borer, I will just go to your blog and have a good laugh. Oh, and I disagree with the "thank-you" thing because I definitely thanked the girl who gave me a plant which I can not get rid of. It sends underground runners and pops up in unexpected places and it has a horrible smell when I pull it out.

  15. I vote aye to both, Carol. Another funny post. Keep 'em coming!

  16. Lancashire Rose, I bet anything it was houtunyia that has that 'smell'. Terrible plant!

  17. Aye, and aye! And may I join The Society? *still giggling* I forgot that rule about gardeners not being allowed to ever have everything planted; see? I *need* the guidance of The Society!

    And, um, the strawberries also. Move over, Sherry. *wink*


  18. Aye, and I second the motion regarding enough strawberries for everyone.

  19. I spent all day in very very serious MG meetings. Thank you for lifting my mood. Aye to both.

  20. Dee/Reddirtramblings, It looks like you have led the way and all the other members are following your lead.

    Cindy, You are in, and we are proud to have you as a member.

    Daphne, You make an excellent point.

    Mary, You are doing good, come by anytime, we might have some more "Society" meetings!

    Curtis, Your votes are duly noted.

    Annie in Austin, It appears that your suggested superstition is going to be accepted! We'll have to now consider the one about the empty potting bench, at the next meeting.

    Christine, I've seen a lot of gardens with a lot of unplanted plants, maybe you should post about that?

    Marianne, We are happy to have anyone from anywhere join, so you are hereby accepted!

    Layanee, You're in, of course. We couldn't have the "Society" without you!

    Kerri, Thanks for your support of the change!

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I can see how that suggested superstition could actually be used to our advantage, to GET flowers to bloom. I like that.

    Sherry at the Zoo, The strawberries are delicious but I've eaten them all myself!

    Lancashire Rose (Jenny), Thank you! And I am sorry to hear about the tragedies in your garden. It is still early here, but soon we'll have squash bugs and hornworms and Japanese beetles, and Mexican bean beetles and raccoons and oh, I don't want to think about them!

    Pam/digging, Thank you for the votes and I believe there will be some more "Society" meeting posts.

    Tina, I think you are right!

    Cath, You are in, and we'll help you however we can.

    Lisa at Greenbow, I do all the work, I eat all the strawberries! That's a "Society" rule.

    Aunt Debbi/Kurt's Mom, You mean a Master Gardeners' meeting? Why would it be serious?

    Thanks all for the votes and for joining in the "Society". Watch for future posts with more topics for discussion and voting.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens (and President of the "Society")

  21. Carol, while it appears that the meeting was well attended, I would like to be placed on your waiting list to attend when someone doesn't show up. (Should we be calling you Sybil instead of Carol? :) )

    I also vote in favor of saying thank you, as I was raised in the south and I say thank you for everything, even when I don't realize I'm saying it. Relieving myself of the burden of worrying about killing a passalong plant because of that is most appreciated!
    Robin at Getting Grounded

  22. Your cousin thinks saying thank you is the correct way! Maybe you should present and vote on a few of the superstitions Aunt Barbara told you for The Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition to include in the well thumbed blog pages. How come there were no fresh strawberries at the reunion?


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