Why re-build my collection?

by Aug 10, 2019My Journal

So why try to rebuild my collection of pelargoniums after two years?

It was a lot of time, effort, highs and lows building my previous collection.  I spent over ten years building it up.  I had over 300 varieties of pelargoniums and geraniums, and they gave me great joy.

It all disappeared in a blink of an eye! 

About two years ago, in the early spring, I went away for nearly three weeks to offer support to a dear friend who had just been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. 

My plants were still indoors as the weather was not quite good enough to start bringing them outside.  I left them in good hands (I thought).  Well, it appeared that was not the case.  The door to the plant area had been left open shortly after I left and the raccoons were anxious to ensure that there were no goodies in amongst the plants.  I know, I live in the midst of Vancouver – but we have raccoons – and skunks, and even coyotes roaming the backyards.

I came home to what amounted to a pile of compost.  My entire collection was gone!  I was devastated.

Then Life took over, and I didn’t have the time, energy or inclination to begin again.

Then last week I finally had the opportunity to take a day trip to visit a friend in Victoria.  My friend, Dianne, was going to pick me up from the ferry.  We were planning to spend the day catching up and being local tourists.  Then I remembered that I had given some cuttings to another friend who works at an institution that has extensive gardens and displays.  I knew she had used some of my cuttings to create some pretty awesome displays.  I also remembered that I had told her there may come a time when I wanted them back!

An email requesting the return of the favour resulting in a resounding YES!.  I got very excited at the prospect of getting some of my plants back.  Then she told me she had a friend who had even more varieties than she had (including apparently some of the plants I gave her).  So, of course, I begged for an introduction.  That is how the three of us met and I received the start of my new collection.  I can’t thank either one of them enough for their generosity.

It was a special afternoon. One of those afternoons that you learn something about yourself that you had either forgotten or didn’t know.   I realized just how much I missed my pelargoniums.  I love their variety of colour and form, their resilience, their ease in taking the garden from the mundane to the spectacular without the need to be divas.  They simply go about being beautiful, cheerful and compatible with the other residents of the garden. Plants bring a lot of joy, peace and tranquillity to my life – I had forgotten how much.

For the first time in 2 years, I felt like myself again.  I hadn’t realized just how much I lost my enthusiasm for a lot of things, including gardening.  The idea of re-creating my collection really did fill me with joy. I am so excited with the prospect of creating a collection again that I thought I would share the journey by way of this blog.

And, you, my lucky readers, will hopefully share the joy with me.

Do your pelargoniums bring you Joy?  What is it that you love about them?