When I was a young child growing up in a small country town, we used to visit lots of “grandmas”. After-noon tea was always a treat! These lovely old ladies would take us into their cosy safe homes and spoil us with their home-baked goodies. I always felt good visiting, like they were part of my extended family. That’s a very fond memory for me. Another was their gardens. They all had lovely gardens, and they all seemed to have these pink flowers growing at their garden gate. I called them “grandma daisies” because of this. I remember as a child thinking “how boring, very typical, old-fashioned these flowers were… just weeds!” And, that “when I grow up, I am definitely not going to have “grandma daisies” in my garden!”
Well, I’m all grown up now, and I’m also a “grandma.” I have a cosy home of my own, hopefully one that I will be retiring in. And— I have “grandma daises” growing at my garden gate. I look at them every day, with warm feelings from great childhood memories. Both my grandmas grew them. They are long gone now but the “grandma daisies” always remind me of them. However, I recently discovered that these plants are considered “highly desirable” in the local Declared Weeds book. Being a bit of a conservationist, I thought I should probably oblige and pull them out. So, I looked at them and looked at them and… do you think I could bring myself to do it? Not a chance in hell!!! I couldn’t for the life of me destroy something so beautiful and meaningful. A symbol representing an invitation to come in and share my home… Just like those grandmas used to do for me. It made me think…
It’s funny… You spend half your life saying that you are never going to be like “this or that” when you grow up. Then suddenly, you’re there and you are doing exactly “this or that.” And, you wonder… just when did this transformation happen? Who knows? What I do know is this: as you get older, you actually get to choose what is really important to hang on to, those peculiar characteristics of childhood, the good things that you were taught or experienced. They are the ones that you get to perpetuate… Like the “grandma daisies.” I like to think that I have been blessed with many of these so far, and I find myself determined to share them and pass them on to the next generation. It’s compulsory, especially for grandmas!
So, I have declared to my official Weed Book, “grandma daisies” are a Compulsory Plant to be grown at the garden gate as a symbol for all homes that are inviting visitors to come in and enjoy wonderful experiences… and create similarly beautiful life-long memories
Grandma Daisises are officially Catharanthus Roseuas (Pink Periwinkle). If you are going to grow them, the responsible thing to do is make sure they stay at your garden gate and not let them takeover the countryside).
By Dr Fay Falco-Mammone- The Warrior Woman 2016
(All text and images are the property of Dr Fay Falco-Mammone)