Lilacs are very fragrant and old fashioned. This is "Miss Kim" a lilac that blooms well in the South

My Kentucky Grandmother probably never bought a flowering plant in her life.  There just wasn’t money for that back in her day.  The flowers that she grew–and there were many–came from shared seeds, cuttings or roots.  Like most of her friends, she was good at propagation–a gift she passed on to my father who was said to have a green thumb.

Today I have choices that would boggle her mind.  But I still grow a lot grandma plants.  Here are 3 reasons why–

1) Grandma plants are happy here–You can’t propagate a plant if it is not thriving.  Grandma plants are good growers.  They are well suited to our climate and not picky.  They can take less than ideal conditions–part shade and drought.  

2) Grandma plants are often fragrant.  Our grandmas prized fragrance and so do I.  Sweet smelling flowers remind me of long, carefree afternoons in the shade.  The scents of childhood.   My stress level drops dramatically. 

3) Grandma plants don’t need chemicals–I don’t think they’d been invented.  If Grandma couldn’t kill a plant-pest with soapy water, she didn’t want the plant.  She fertilized with coffee grounds and well-rotted manure.  She propagate with a rock or a mason jar.    She had a compost pile full of the fattest earth worms I’ve every seen.   They did her tilling for her. 

Here are some of my favorite grandma plants that are making a splash this spring:

Irises–Love this plant.  I grow 5 or 6 varieties–all stunning.  The cool thing is–the best of them were given to me.   Try Siberian Iris and Japanese Roof Iris-my two favorites. (And thanks to Karen for the beautiful blue iris above)

Kerria–This shrub grows anywhere I put it.  Tough as nails.  Cheerful yellow blooms.  The double blooms are more common, but I like the single.  Worth seeking them out if you like simple flowers.  The variety above is Kin Kan and it’s great in a vase. 

 Mock Orange–These white blooms are super-fragrant.  They perfume half the yard or a whole room if cut for the house.    The shrub has a nice arching habit.  It’s pretty in the garden and the scent takes my breath away.  I treasure it. 

Melissa says her favoirte grandma plant is Sweet Betsy.  My Dad’s was Tiger lily.  How about you?   What old-fashioned plants do you treasure in your garden?