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How Do You Spend Memorial Day?

Phyllis Inspiration 27 Comments

Memorial Day around our house is a day of getting the gardens planted and sprucing up the perennial plants that make their appearance every year. My roses are a favorite as they put forth their first blooms. I gather blossoms to dry for everlasting bouquets that I enjoy year-round.


We just harvested the last of the English peas. They require cool weather, and our warm southern spring is already taking their toll on them. This was the first year we planted a tiny plot in the corner of a flower bed to see if we could actually be successful with this crop. So, we will have one serving each and enjoy every bite.

I have one section of my flower garden that we can see from our breakfast table. I try to plant a mixture of things so that something will always be in bloom. I was just horrified to look out last year and see my tall red-hot poker flowers falling like trees being cut. I jumped up and ran out only to find a fat little bunny munching away on my prized flowers. Beauty to me is salad to bunnies.


Neal designed our potting shed last year, and this will be the first full season we get to enjoy it. We had leftover stone and brick from other projects, so the stone mason just mixed everything up. Our ferns made it through the winter inside alongside the kumquat tree. But the cottage needs a spring cleaning.

The hydrangeas are beginning to bud, and they make their showy blue appearance in a few weeks. I plant to root cuttings in the shed as summer progresses. These dry beautifully too and will be added to my dried roses in arrangements.

After our requisite flower garden duties are done, Neal will grill some great burgers, and we will have homemade ice cream. Memorial Day is a time of remembrance for us. I am thankful to be an American and to live in this wonderful country. Many lives were sacrificed so that we can have the life we live today. I am grateful. Have a wonderful holiday.

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Comments 27

  1. May move into your potting shed? Seems ideal for a quiet retreat.
    Thank you for your wonderful magazines, At 88 I am not as able to travel and enjoy beautiful places as I did in the past and with VICTORIA I can travel and savor from the chair by the fire. A fire in May is common in Colorado Springs.
    Alphild Boardman.

  2. Ordinarily we spend our Memorial Day working around the house and trying to stay off the roads, (living just across the Waterway from North Myrtle Beach, SC, traffic can be horrible.) This year my husband and I are going to Rock hill SC. My best friend since nursery school’s oldest child and his wife are expecting their first child and we’re going to help with the couples baby shower. I promised my friend I would arrange the centerpiece for her. I will be relying heavily on your knowledge and incredible talent. I have the first book on flower arranging that you published and refer to it quite often! Wish me luck! I chair the flower guild at our Episcopal Church but when you are doing things for best friends the pressure is on!!!!!!!!! I too, love the pink rose, please let us know what it is—I wish our shed looked like yours! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful stories.

    Margaret Warren

      1. Thank-you so much. Having been to the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA, I should’ve guessed yours was an Austin rose. 8:)

  3. Memorial Day is usually Teacher Workday at school. A day of turning in things, packing up and cleaning for the summer, and going home to catch up on sleep missed from all those all night sessions of grading finals and doing grades, ordering supplies for next year, recovering from graduation and the all night lock in.
    I do try to do a special drawing thinking of the reason that we observe Memorial Day.
    We selected plants when we built our house and let the lawn care service take care of it. If I touched the plants they would die. I am amazed at people who have the time and ability to work with gardening. I have very low vision and knee problems so I try to avoid walking on anything uneven
    I have one Ivy that was left from my aunt’s funeral several years ago. The only thing that hasn’t died for me! And it has gone wild! I just keep it in a sunny window and water it once a week. Now it has runners all over the floor.
    My great-aunt was constantly working on her home and her yard. She always said that the time to plant was on Good Friday.

  4. Your potting shed is reminence of old France and the old world as a whole. I am so glad to have found your blog a few months ago. Happy summer gardening and blue hydragena are the best but then they are my favorite colour, n’est ce pas?

  5. I am new to your blog as well, I was introduced to you through The Enchanted Home. I too love your approach to life, and am anxious to buy your magazines. I love gardening, and appreciate a beautiful lawn, I look forward to getting beautiful ideas from your blog 🙂 As Memorial Day goes we all should definitely celebrate with gratitude to all of those men and women who have fought for our freedom. I am so very blessed and thankful to be an American! God Bless America!

  6. Memorial Day is first and foremost about flying “Old Glory” and remembering those who have given their lives for our freedom. Here in Indiana we also have the tradition of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
    I have gone many times as a young person but now at 80 my thoughts turn to much more quiet things.
    I will place flowers at my husband’s gravesite and spend a quiet day with my children and grandchildren.
    We may take this opportunity to put our boat in the water as I live on a small lake. It’s really the beginning of summer here. I may also do a bit of gardening … planting and trimming and getting a head start on the summer. Many blessings to all of the “Journal” friends as we remember those dear ones no longer with us and cherish the opportunity to share time with those we love nearby. Ruth

  7. Here in Washington state, Wenatchee to be exact summer has arrived. My pink peonies are opening as are my Knock Out roses, we have a pink one and a yellow one. The traditional roses are on the north side of the house and are a bit slower. This blog and your magazines make me feel so good inside – all things lovely and beautiful. I have been a follower and been enraptured with Alexandra Stoddard for years, so we also share that joy. We always put red geraniums on my husband’s parent’s graves and we have a flag pole in our back yard that is always waving the red, white and blue!

  8. I too love roses and waiting for my first two roses to bloom that are in the bloom stage. I plan to spend time in my little garden (planting, weeding, etc.) and with my little dogs sitting on my front porch reading a good book. No big plans, just to remember my family who were special and taught me to appreciate nature, gardening and so many other things in life. I do miss them all.

  9. I’m new to your blog but definitely not new to your magazines. I so appreciate your approach to life. I even have a copy of your CD, An Evening in May. It would be wonderful if some day I get to meet you in person.

    1. An Evening in May, what might that be? I am new to the blog and just subscribed to both Victoria and Teatime magazines. There are more magazines that are enticing me! This is such a delightful way to connect with others from all over places people call home. I’m here in Washington state.

      1. An Evening in May is a CD piano solo I recorded with the Nashville Strings for Eric and Katie’s Wedding. I have 4 that I have recorded. Thank you for joining our blog !! We will celebrate life!!

  10. Beautiful readings. I live in Florida and it is almost impossible to grow roses here. I have Jasmine that enchants my senses and bougainvillea that wraps around and peeks through the trees that surround me. Once in awhile I see fireflies twinkling at night. Anywhere can be beautiful.
    I hope all of you have a beautiful Memorial Day and thanks to the people who serve our country and keep America safe.

  11. To me Memorial Day is the real beginning of summer. I have recently downsized but have a tiny garden right outside a tiny potting shed. I have decorated my potting shed as I ran out of house fast to decorate. I have just planted a few new knock out roses in my garden. Last year’s came back and look great. I have planted lots of flags in my front planters and I have hung my buntings on the porch (Eat your heart out Martha) I am looking forward to a homemade glass of lemonade with my daughter on the porch. Happy Memorial Day to you all. Kathryn

  12. My family and I make a point to attend the Memorial Day service and parade in our town, remembering those who have given their lives to protect our freedom. We owe them, those that returned, and all of their families and loved ones an immense debt of gratitude.

  13. Memorial Day for us is always “Planting Day” at Spring House Farm. We are joined by our very dear friends that are superb gardeners (master gardeners) and we spend the day doing all things ‘planting’. Following a day of digging in the dirt, we enjoy a cool crisp glass of wine on the porch before cooking delicious grilled hamburgers.

  14. When I got the announcement that you were resurrecting Victoria I was so excited! I love the magazine. Your respect for the Traditional American Way of Life and it’s Values are a balm. The sheer loveliness of your pictures and articles are inspiring. On Memorial Day we always hang our Flag on the front porch and, being Catholic, I always go to Mass to honor the sacrifices of those who suffered for our Freedom. And as my husband’s Aunt Martha used to say, “It’s Memorial Day. You have to have hamburgs (her spelling) and potatoe salad.”

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