My first encounter with the zesty zinnia was on a rather steep incline (at least from an eight-year old’s perspective) behind my great-grandmother’s house. Uncle Walter grew a multitude of zinnias and chrysanthemums, taking every opportunity to lead visitors up his rustic steps to the beautiful sight above where an array of colors, textures, and shapes awaited them.

When we moved into our circa 1911 home, I wanted to introduce some of those same flowers into my own garden. A few years ago I showed my grandmother and her sister, Helen, my Old House Gardens catalog to ask what flowers most reminded them of their mother’s and brother’s (Uncle Walter) garden.

While I hope to plant more in the future, the one deep red zinnia I have is a real beauty–and it comes back bigger and better every year.

The green flower is one of my favorites and sets the red off perfectly! It is White Flower Farm’s first ever double cone flower, Coconut Lime.

So what childhood flower would you like to see growing in your garden? I encourage you find the perfect spot and cultivate sweet memories for years to come.


If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Terri Guillemets