Nostalgia Trip

After an absence of three years, lilies finally make a return to the garden.

The last time we saw these sumptuous and deliciously scented flowers was in the old garden. They were in pots on the patio and here in the new garden, they are in pots on the patio. We have Lilium Regale and Lilium Stargazer and their fragrance wafts across the patio and into the garden and it can be smelled in the air. Their pollen continues to stain clothes and noses just as the old ones did.

It’s wonderful not just because of the sweet heady fragrance, but because of the memories it stirs and sense of familiarity it brings. It’s like seeing old friends again after a long time apart.

This goes for many plants in the garden, lupins, delphiniums, ceanothus, roses, alliums, astrantia and so on. Each one has an associated set of happy memories and feelings from discovering them for the first time and growing them successfully in the previous garden.

I’m not trying to copy the old garden into the new, it’s more a case of having my old friends and favourites back, the ones I used to have, miss and want to see again, the ones I had all the fun and excitement of planting and tending to in the previous garden.

There are a whole host of other plants that have sentimental value too, hostas, nerines, crocosmia, currant shrubs and many more are all donations from friends and family.

Subconsciously or otherwise, I will most likely end up with nearly all the plants I had in the previous garden in the current one. They’ll be new plants in a different setting in different borders in different places, but they will still mean the same and still give me that sense of familiarity and comfort that comes from being surrounded by a garden of happy flowering memories.


  1. Sunil, if you can add many of your favorites from the old garden to your “newer” one, I envy you. Many of the plants I loved in my Maryland garden (especially roses) are no longer available. So I shall have to find new ones I love – or can learn to love – as much. Love that lupine!


    1. Hello Lynn, as we moved “locally” (in US terms), I’m able to grow all my favourites as well as a wider range of plants because of the milder climate (it’s not far, but it really does make a difference). If the originals are no longer available, perhaps you could track down whether they were used in a rose breeding programme and find the “children”?


  2. Mmmmm! Smelly lilies. I love them, but Mr Mac cannot abide their smell in the house. Perhaps I should have a go at them in the garden? After all, day lilies do well here, so perhaps I’ll try these.


    1. Hello Mrs Mac, there are lilies available that have no scent and they’d be much better for Mr Mac. for the house, otherwise, you can keep the scented ones outside. I love the smell of lilies, it’s just a shame that they get lily beetle that needs to be kept in check.


  3. Certain plants really are like old friends, and their flowering is like an annual reunion. No good reason why you should stay lonely for them.


    1. Hello Jason, that’s neatly summarised this post into two sentences! It really does feel like an annual reunion when I see them in flower.


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