Simple Garden Pleasures - Sunflowers, Roses, Hollyhocks and more

Krista Tippett, on her radio show blog, 'ON BEING', writes:

 " the transcendent food memory of my childhood remains the enormous, red, delicious tomatoes that were available at a ramshackle store on Main Street for a couple of months each summer. ....  "

I must follow this compelling question with one of my own about transcendent garden memories:

Why did we abandon the simple pleasures of growing carrots in milk cartons, hollyhocks along old fences or lilacs at the corner of a house and how can we reclaim this as part of our ordinary waking life?

milk carton gardening



We all have such memories - even city kids like me...

  • it might be the 'weed' that smelled like licorice ( anise hyssop), 
  • the buttercups that you put under your chin,
  •  the honeysuckle that you could suck a teeny drop of 'honey' from, the sweet smell of roses as you walked past a certain house,
  •  the bright yellow daffodils in early spring that sprang up overnight it seemed....

Dan Barber of Stone Barns in Westchester County, NY  is on a mission to revive 'good food'...and I  guess I feel similarly about bringing flowers, plants and gardens back into our lives....this kind of knowledge has been cast aside in favor of math and physics but I say children can learn those disciplines better through understanding the phenomenal natural world around them.

So plant those sunflower seeds, install that Elephant Ear and cut up those milk cartons....

transcendent garden memories await you.

Rainbow Knock Out Roses


  1. Oh summer memories...being from NJ we had amazing tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, corn, blueberries, and if we did not get to the Farmer's Market itself, one of the farmers use to come through our neighborhood with an old truck and sell his produce off the truck. My mom would let him know if she needed something special, like a flat of berries to make jam.
    Honeysuckle....not just the fragrance, but the fun of snipping of the ends of the blossom to sip the "honey"
    My mom also grew a clematis paniculata (autumn clematis) on the back fence, and that fragrance was just delicious

  2. I remember when I first realized that sunflower seeds ( like the ones we would buy in a box at the candy store) came from a sunflower! I didn't make the connection for a long time....

  3. I love the idea of carrots in a milk carton, great project for my son!

  4. and don't forget to plant an elephant ear !He will love it.

  5. Some of my favorite childhood memories are surrounded by the sights and scents of summer, including the almost unconscious perception of the plants around my house. I can name them all, so many years later.


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