All my relatives garden. All of them. My great grandmothers hybridized iris, and my mom has been transplanting them from yard to yard to yard as she moved around the country -- and also giving them to friends and family as they flourish and spread. You can't buy iris like the ones mom's Granny Ruth hybridized. We create our own names for the color varieties. I'm particularly fond of "Root beer float."
Until recently, I've not been a gardener. I have one houseplant that I've managed to keep alive since college, but otherwise, I killed everything I brought home. A year ago this weekend, however, my boyfriend and I got a house together in Tacoma. With a yard! Grass, a couple bushes, and lots of blank, empty flower beds. My mom has been helping me fill it.
My boyfriend cooks, so we have an herb garden now. Mom's grandmothers' iris are scattered throughout. Lilies, violas, a wildflower mix, black-eyed Susans, crocosmias, twinkletoes -- it's a slow start, but they're filling in, and thriving!
Periodically, I visit my mom's garden for inspiration, and to make a list of things I'd like to bring home to my own garden when she thins them -- peonies, coral bells, bleeding hearts, wild strawberries. I'm also gradually waging war on the lawn, ripping out a few square feet at a time to make room for more flowers. Eventually, it will be a garden oasis, no lawn in sight. Just don't tell my landlord.
In the meantime, I glare at the lawn, and tend to Grandma Pat's twinkletoes, Aunt Debbie's amaryllis, and all the other blooming wonders Mom is teaching me how to grow.