A Mother’s Day Legacy


Each day of the year, I am thankful  of the profound influence and inspiration my Mother brought into my life over the course of the fifty or so years that I was blessed by her earthly presence.  And, many of you are aware of the fact that my blog was actually started in my Mother’s memory.  A poem entitled Beautiful Gardener was given to her years ago by a friend, and was shared at her funeral in 2010.  As a child, I always loved the fact that we got to give Mother presents on her May 5th birthday, and then just a few days following we celebrated Mother’s Day with her.  I can remember as a small child Mother picking up her corsage for Mother’s Day from the local florist:  white roses were traditional if your Mother were still living and red roses if you Mother was deceased.  Mother would often pin a small rose bud from a pink old fashioned rose bush that grew in our yard to my dress as well as to my two sisters’ dresses.  Clearly, roses were a huge influence in my life even in early childhood although Mother would not start cultivating her beloved rose garden until years later.  I will have to admit that I am not a Rosarian.  Most of my experience has been with landscape roses such as Knockouts and Peggy Martin.

When I walked into my backyard on Tuesday, which would have been Mother’s 85th birthday, this rose bush was in full bloom.  I cannot take credit for the blooms as it was planted by the previous home owner.  I quickly picked each gorgeous bloom and have enjoyed them all week on my dining table.



My Mother collected crystal pieces through the years and in recent years, and some of her most cherished pieces were won at the Northeast Mississippi Rose Society’s annual shows.  These elegant rose bowls are from her collection.




Even after her death, the enduring legacy of my Mother’s garden gifts continue. Roses from Mother’s garden were used in my in my niece Alyson McGee Gembala’s bouquet at her wedding in May, 2013.


Mother truly loved peonies and each May I looked forward to the blooms in her garden. She brought these to Dothan on a visit about 10 years ago.


These two blooms were photographed in May, 2014, and now my sister, Claire, can enjoy them.



Last Sunday Wilma Sartin incorporated a few of Mother’s peonies into the flower arrangement for worship services at First United Methodist Church in Pontotoc, Mississippi.


Tracy Kramer, family friend and Rosarian, has even successfully planted some of Mother’s roses into her own garden.  Again, her rose legacy is carried on!


Let Freedom Ring!


Gold Medal


Celebrating the many gifts of my Mother’s life.  Happy Mother’s Day!


8 thoughts on “A Mother’s Day Legacy

  1. Love this, Mary Lise! I remember how your mother would bring her beautiful flowers to the DG house. She was also an amazing cook, and I still have the book of some of her favorite recipes Patti Anne gave me when I graduated.

  2. Beautiful pics and words! Hope your day was just as pretty 

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note® 4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  3. I love the memories you shared. I know Claire will enjoy your mother’s roses and peonies! Love the rose bowls and the arrangement at the Methodist Church! Your writings remind me of those in one of my favorite magazines, Victoria.

  4. Mary Lise, I feel that you carry on many of your Mother’s sweet qualities in your own life! She must have been such a dear lady. I know you must miss her so much.

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