15 June 2012


tuesday morning I opened up the house-one of my favorite times of day.
 a beautiful morning.

what I found just outside the front door was a big bucket-not bouquet- of Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle.
The beautiful marvelous magical Annabelle, named for its origin- Anna Illinois-
& all I had to do was open the door.

I immediately knew how I came by these darlings.

Though it has been a few years since this friend & gardener past away- I said, thank you BB.
A gift from heaven by way of your beautiful granddaughter Anne-appropriate wouldn't you say?
This young woman lives in her grandmother's house and inherited an allée of Annabelles.

Anne explained her gift by saying she must have a clear path to her mother's house-and the Annabelles had to make the sacrifice. Her mother, I grew up with her-first grade onward, lives just down the garden path from Anne. An extraordinary family-they are rare these days-though in the South-they still exist.

Roots are planted-they remain-
they renew.

My mother and I often remark how much this clan reminds us of her own family-4 sisters both -with growing young versions of themselves and bound by Love & Devotion-Family.

Though the matriarch-affectionately known as BB- is gone-she is with Us, certainly with her daughter and four granddaughters.

The last time I had Annabelle's in the house we were celebrating BB's soon to be born great granddaughter -It was a joyous occasion and BB was there.

Her Annabelles are here-a reminder for Us all-and for the young women-her great granddaughters-Aurora & Ausley growing up amongst them on her garden path.
for now- She is here again.



  1. How glorious! Lucky you to be the recipient of an abundance of Annabelles!

    They are beautiful and the glimps into your room is rather spectacular as well.

    Are those shells at the bottom of the vase?

  2. How wonderful to wake up, open the door, and find nimbus' of beauty waiting! Wow!

  3. When a friend gives us a plant, we are forever reminded of that friend when we see the plant blooming in the garden. There's nothing better. I have a St. Francis Iris that a friend gave me and each year when it blooms I am reminded of my dear friend. Enjoy your beautiful hydrangeas, one of my favorite flowers. Have a great weekend!

  4. Gaye, I love this post! It made me feel warm, calm, peaceful--the things that friends, family, flowers and memories do so well. Yesterday evening, I surprised my beloved neighbor, without whose help with caring for my elderly mother I could not manage,(and she herself is 90!) by presenting her with a planter of wonderfully fragrant After Eight oriental lilies. In the fall we'll plant the bulbs and she'll enjoy them for years to come. What better way to spread love and joy than with flowers?

    Thanks also for your great post on the Diamond Jubilee!

  5. These flowers are so beautiful, I love everything about them and always have done. They are strong and yet delicate and gentle. I also adore your room setting and how you have displayed them. A very touching and uplifting post, and a wonderful story, thank you for sharing. x

  6. I am touched beyond words sweet Gaye. What a lovely remembrance. I know that BB is smiling down; you know that she loved you and so do we!

  7. Sweet Gaye, what a lovely remembrance. I am touched beyond words. I can't tell you how many times I stormed through that path of flowers to be rescued by BB. Your words bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart as I remember the woman that made me the person that I am. Thank you for remembering her Gaye. Lots of love to you all. I will print this out and put it in my journal to Ausley. xoxo.

  8. What a wonderful heritage! Yes, those southern roots do run deep, and the rest of us could learn a lesson. Those hydrangeas go on and on-- sweet reminder!

  9. Oh, what a nice story. How rare and touching to have the plants go through so many generations of the same family and the same neighborhood!

  10. Thank you. So many Southern traditions bring lives together for generation after generation. Not so in sunny So. Cal. The Annabelles are glorious.

  11. I would have to say.......(I know it to be a fact!!) BB IS THERE! (just because you can't see her) never mind! she is there and is loving all of you loving her rings. She is wondering why you don't "talk" to her!

    Try it!

    It will work! and you will receive great comfort when she "answers" you.....it will be in your mind! (this does require you opening up your mind! If you cannot do it.....never mind!)

    What a lucky girl you are to be born into this fantastic family.



  12. This is so lovely in every way. In addition to BB's love, it's also a testament to the legacy of gardeners and gardening. How wonderful that this path of love is lined with such incredible beauty!

  13. What a wonderful little piece to wake up to this morning. So gentle, genteel, civilized and real - qualities we don't seem to have enough of these days. I will be clipping hydrangea today (although not Annabelle's - my mother's middle name, that I adore and was nixed by my husband in naming my girls) and will be kindly reminded of this lovely story!!

  14. How can I add anything more meaningful? Gaye, I am with you, all the way down the garden path.....watched by the ones, who walk before us and looking at the ones walking the very same path, surely after we have moved on....
    I feel the similar connection to my maternal grandmother, mother, sisters and my own daughter....and daughter in law to come! I feel so blessed this way!

  15. Gardens are a wonderful way to connect generations......to each other. How lovely and perfect that this was the same property; and the same garden!
    Now many people are spread far and wide from their original "homes"
    One way to "reconnect" is to design gardens with the designs, plants and old elements in one's "new" garden in a new city. It is quite a movement! It will make many people very happy.....to look out windows and see things they "grew up with"!

    I am completely hopelessly 'sentimental' about plants and exterior "details'! I "burst into tears" when I first say Renee's garden. Sobbing. Embarrassing!

    Just true!

    thank you again, for the wonderful post....that has touched my heart!!!


  16. I am so annoyed by the "corrections" that my computer does........I wrote "saw" (starting from the bottom up)! oh well....apple was incorrect when it corrected me!

    Everyone got the idea!!




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