Stockholm-lilac by Marisa DeMeglio, NYC

Gardeners Exchange Group Meeting 16 June 2018
Location: Home of Jane Blash
Topic: A Garden Discovery: Introduction to Heirloom Flowers with Claudia Bentley, Master Gardener

HortensiaOur speaker, Master Gardener Claudia Bentley, presented a delightful talk entitled A Garden Discovery: Introduction to Heirloom Flowers. Claudia regaled us with the history of an heirloom sunflower, Rudbeckia laciniata Hortensia, and spoke of her decade-long quest to identify the flower and discover a bit about its history. Her search was aided by an elderly friend who was once familiar with this species. It seems that decades ago, the residents of Helena, Montana, decided to honor the flower as their designated city and state flower, even designing posters highlighting the flower to welcome visitors to the community and the state. Hortensia, though, is a mighty climber with a delightful scent. These characteristics lead folks to plant it around their out-houses, and the specimen soon acquired the name “privy flower.” With that turn of events, the Montana folks decided it was time to say ‘good-by” to Hortensia and chose a new state flower–the bitterroot. Read more about the story here.

Claudia urged us to reflect on heirlooms in general that may be important within each of our lives such as a special piece of jewelry or a piece of inexpensive pottery. She urged us to treasure these plants and other items and to remember to hold them close to our heart.