Presidents Message

Maplewood Garden Club’s President Monthly Message

March 2024


I’D LIKE TO THANK YOU all for your condolences and thoughtful words since my father passed away in late December. Your kindness and support have been deeply appreciated. Writing this letter, while thinking of my father, brings back memories of his favorite plants (cacti) and reminds me of how powerful plants can be in their ability to hold our memories of the special people in our lives.

GROWING UP, Dad worked from home and his office was a south-facing room, with very deep windowsills. He had an amazing collection of cacti, filling every inch that space would allow. There were tall ones, short ones, fat ones, spiraling ones. There was an “old man” cactus (Cephalocereus Senilis) I had given him as a birthday gift to tease him about his age (he was probably only in his mid-forties!), and the fact that the cactus had more hair than he did. I don’t know the names of any of the others, but I do remember how exciting I found them to look at. All those textures and patterns, often blooming with exotic flowers; I understood implicitly why my Dad loved them.

SO YOU CAN imagine how happy I was to inherit the last two plants he nurtured, both cacti. They are a plant legacy version of him. I’ll bet you also have plants whose very existence conjures up memo- ries of someone from your life. Is it that oak tree you planted when your first child was born? Or the sweet pot of violets given to you by a dear friend for your birthday? We all have or have had special plants in our lives that carry memories of family and friends. Looking at them brings those people back to us again and again.

THAT IS WHY I HAVE my mother’s peonies in my garden and it is also why I have a Wax plant (Hoya amicabillis) that was my Grandmother’s. This heirloom has been living on under my mother’s care since 1969, and mine since 2017! And now I have Dad’s Christmas cactus and Bunny Ears cactus (Opuntia microdasys), and I will enjoy remembering him each and every time I tend them.

~ Lisa Lackey