Magnificent pale lavender irises are glowing in the sun. My friend Renée had divided her bulbs, and she brought up a bunch when she came for a visit a few years ago. They are now well established, and a beautiful early bloomer in the garden.

Renee's iris

Tonight we are having rhubarb crisp. Cherisse’s mother brought the rhubarb plants from her garden in Colorado, and they are now thriving. Last year we picked our first, small harvest; this year we should get a lot more.


Along one row of the garden fence are large, stunning peonies, close to blooming now. These flowers are my favorites—ridiculously fat and smelling heavenly, they remind me of dresses that could have been worn by southern belles in Gone with the Wind. My grandmother grew these in her New Jersey home, and after she died my mother dug them all up and replanted them in Madison, Connecticut. When she sold the Madison house, we dug them up again, and now my sister and I each have half.


Plants have histories passed down through generations and from friend to friend.

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