Scarlet Sage

 I received some unexpected mail yesterday, a manila envelope from an aunt. Inside the envelope was a copy of a letter my Aunt Marjorie wrote in 2004 with memories of her father, and in particular her recollection as a child of how he spent his last months in failing health before passing away in 1937.

Of course, I did not know him, her father, my mother’s father, my maternal grandfather. I actually know very little about him so receiving the letter with my aunt’s memories was a pleasant surprise.

Included in the letter, appearing as almost an afterthought, my aunt wrote, “P.P.S. Daddy used to make a large vegetable garden in the backyard. That stopped when he could no longer dig. I remember Mother saying his favorite flowers were scarlet sage.”

That P.P.S. was the most exciting discovering in the letter. I did not know my grandfather planted a vegetable garden. There is little mention of that in my grandmother’s diaries. And I surely did not know his favorite flower was scarlet sage.

Guess who is going to plant scarlet sage in her garden this spring, a variety that would have been available before 1937.

Comments

  1. What a delight to get that link to the past. Scarlet Sage is such a beautiful old fashioned flower. It is so hardy and bees love it. I can see why he would like this flower so much. Can't wait to see your swathe of Scarlet Sage.

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  2. How exciting to get to know a little more about your grandfather!
    Scarlet sage...sounds interesting, I think I would like to grow it, too!

    Have a great week-end!
    Lea

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  3. What a treasure you received, Carol! Knowing these sorts of things about our ancestors is thrilling. I look forward to seeing photos of the scarlet sage growing at May Dreams.

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  4. So, your grandfather loved flowers. To me that says it all.

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  5. So gardening is genetic! Can't wait to see Scarlet Sage in your garden this summer and fall. gail

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  6. ♥history + ♥flowers = ♥your post!

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  7. How cool is that!

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  8. Nice - I have copies of letters from my Great-grandmother in the 1930 and early 1940s - she was a typical country cottage gardener - every plant was a gift from a neightbor or friend - she never bought anything - I was surprised at the variety of plants she had accumulated in this fashion.

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  9. Getting such a letter from the past is so cool, Carol - what a gift!

    I see Scarlet Sage used as the common name for both Salvia coccinea and Salvia splendens - any idea which one your grandfather planted?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  10. It's nice to learn things like that. I remember my dad's parents having a large garden. I asked them to look for photos of it awhile back, but they couldn't find any. I should ask my aunts and uncles if they know of any. The only flower I remember is the iris.

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  11. I come from a long line of farmers and have wonderful memories of my Grandma's garden. I'm happy to say that I have a cutting from my Grandma's Christmas Cactus and my Mother still has some of her Hen's and Chicks that grew in the flower bed up by the front porch. BTW, I hope you've got something special planned tomorrow. Hope it's a great one!

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  12. What a treasure for your birthday! I love when gardens are a storybook of the lives that made us grow.

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