Friday, January 12, 2018

Revisiting the Heritage Garden

Heritage Garden, photo by Midge Frazel, 2014, update 2018

Remembering Those Who Came Here
I don't really remember when my father came home from Westerly with a box of plants but it must have been on a Memorial Day when I was a young child. I am fairly sure he dug up those plants near the railroad tracks where he grew up. The tracks were down a steep embankment behind his parents house in Bradford, RI. A friend told me that her cousin told her, that my paternal grandfather used to go down to the tracks and play the bagpipes. Family history travels a winding road.

After my paternal grandparents died, and before I was born, my aunt lived with her husband, and her two brothers in the house on Bowling Lane. They had my first cousins, my uncle Bill got married (1951) and moved out but before that my father moved to Providence (abt. 1946) and married my mother. Census records and city directories confirmed what I learned from family.

Dad planted the lily of the valley in the wooded area behind our house in Cranston, RI. After we bought a house in Bridgewater, MA, Dad appeared with a box with plants in it. "Share the wealth!", he said, ever the tightwad Scotsman.

The plants flourished in our yard. He checked on them every year until he passed away in 1998. My mom lived a few more years and when she died, I went outside and checked on the plants. Selling your childhood home is hard. But, the neighborhood is strong and lives on.

When my daughter and husband bought a house, we dug some up and planted those in the wooded area behind their house.  We transplanted them again when they moved. I was worried they wouldn't survive so hubs bought established plants for our yard and this summer we added two or three dug up plants to add to ours.

Recently, I received the obituaries of my paternal grandparents. I will be writing about that soon. Life was hard for them but I am glad to know their whole story. 

So, now I have my own little garden of remembrance. Why don't you start one?


Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, I am reminded of my childhood home sometimes by plants common between California and Florida. Very nice post Midge! So happy for you that your Lily of the Valley plantings are doing fine!

Jana Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kristin said...

We had a lot of Lilly of the Valleys at our last house and one of my grandmother's did too. I have been thinking that I should get some to plant here because the yard is so shady.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Midge, my maternal grandmother, Nana, grew Lily of the Valley beside her front door. I have always done the same in remembrance.

Stephanie Lincecum said...

I think this is an awesome idea. While I don't have "original" plants to transfer, just planting items I remember from my grandparents' backyard might be in order.