Acorn Wheel

Grandmother Plants

I call a category of flowers "Traditional Grandmother Plants". These are flowers that were popular with our grandmother's, but have lost popularity. Most were fragrant which was important in the days before industrial scents were added to everything. Most seeded heavily which was good for reseeding, sharing, and storing over the winter. Often they were great cutflowers.

Some "Grandmother Plants"

  • Bachelor's button
  • Balsam
  • Cleome
  • Fig (not a flower, but every grandmother had one)
  • Florist verbena (the fragrant annual ones)
  • Four o'clocks
  • Gardenia (one of the 8 essential smells of grandmothers)
  • Hydrangea
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the Valley (one of the 8 essential smells of grandmothers)
  • Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)
  • Peony
  • Shirley poppy
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweetpeas
  • Sweet William
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Zinnia

I mentioned the "eight essential smells" of grandmothers. Here is that list.

    The Eight Essential Smells of Grandmothers
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Gardenia
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lilac
  • Paperwhite narcissus

    This is my rememberance from my grandmothers and the older ladies of the church. I'd be curious to see your list. Mail it to:Paul Burns, Garden Design & Education.

    Yes, I know it should be ten, with pie and cookies on the list, but you can't plant pie.

    Paul Burns, Garden Design & Education


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Paul Burns

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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