Cabbages, Bridal Wreaths & Lilacs


My Grandmother set a lot of store by her plants. Cabbage was a big favorite of hers and she grew a lot of it. She made all kinds of delicious things with her cabbage and used it medicinally as well for stomach problems, spring tonics, growing pains and skin conditions.
Bridal Wreath bush (Vanhoutt spirea) was another plant she kept. She grew them from cuttings. When my Mother got her own home, Grandma planted a Bridal bush in the yard right away because she said it would help to keep my Mom’s marriage sweet. She planted a Rose of Sharon too, saying it brought the protection of a Mother’s love. A Lilac tree had to be just outside the back door of every home. I don’t know why. Could be, my Grandmother just liked Lilacs. She never cut them unless a big rain was on its way. Then she would gather as many as she could before they’d ‘rust’ and be ruined on the tree.

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26 thoughts on “Cabbages, Bridal Wreaths & Lilacs

  1. I’d love a lilac bush outside the backdoor. Every time you step outside you’re greeted by that loveliness. What sweet traditions. Sounds like your grandmother knew the language of flowers, a mostly lost art.

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    • The older generations had a lot of traditions. They are becoming lost too. I like the self sufficiency movement. Lots of thing can be learned and passed down and simpler lives means simple pleasures… Like lilacs at the back door!

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  2. When I moved into my current house there was a bush at the front corner so hacked and stunted I was not sure what it was. The next year after being mulched with autumn leaves it was recognizable as a lilac. This spring I had enough blooms to smell the scent as I walked out the front door. The two other unrecognizable bushes at the front turned out to be those VanHoutte spirea. This year they were enormous, perfectly rounded snowballs of blossoms. I’m thrilled to know they can be propagated from cuttings. Both were in my grandmothers garden as well, that generation really knew how to garden.

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    • Those are real treasures! That generation did know about gardening! If my Grandmother went into a garden store today, she would be appalled, lol. She started everything from seeds, runners or cuttings.

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    • It’s so funny that so many homes have lilacs out their back doors. Mine does too, of course, lol. I was also surprised to see that so many people count lilac as their favorite flower

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  3. I am madly in love with that bouquet. Sigh. I see such order in your grounds, Cynthia. I live in chaos. Double sigh. Leaving home in 48 hours for a month; trying not to think about what I would come home to.

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  4. I can almost smell your gorgeous lilacs! I can’t wait for mine to blossom. What is the name of the 2 tone ones? They are stunning! Also, I think our grandmas could have been kindred spirits 😊

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  5. How sweet. I wonder if we are missing out on the lores and traditions behind these plants today. So nice to hear about your grandmother’s reasons for planting each thing. I love lilacs and bridal wreath too.

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