8/24/2009

A Hoya! Howare ya?

My maternal grandmother's family was part of the wave of Norwegian immigrants who landed in North Dakota in the late 1800's. They settled around Minot for starters, and then slowly spread throughout North America - a Grambo here, a Grambo there, everywhere a Grambo. Including one who ended up in Canada and married my Grandfather. Here a Brown, there a Brown...
Anyways! The man that Gramma married was seriously into plants, in fact, so serious that he became a plant doctor - with a PhD in Horticulture. They had beautiful gardens in every home they lived in, and naturally, many, many houseplants.

One of those plants was a hoya, in fact, it was a Hoya Diversifolia with thick rubbery leaves. It's the kind of plant that sits quietly in a corner, pretty much minding its own business, demanding little in terms of food or water. Actually, it's pretty much the perfect plant for busy people who like a touch of green but might forget to water for a few months. Not that Gramma and Grandpa would ever do
that ! I'm just sayin'...that someone like me might let the watering slide on occasion.
So, they lived many long years together, and raised five kids who grew into adults and had kids of their own - some 21 grandchildren, some of whom even display a talent for growing plants too.

Alas, eventually time claimed them both -Grandpa in the late 60's and Grandma in the early 80's. She lived a good life, in relative good health 'til she was 94. When she died, and her personal effects were all sorted out by her daughters, one of the things that was kept by one of them was her hoya plant. It moved from a corner perch in a southern Ontario bungalow to a highrise apartment in Canada's capital where it was kept entertained by Aunt Marg and Uncle Orv and their interesting friends for almost another 25 years, 'til it was their turn to shed this mortal coil. I tell you, if that plant could talk! It would have some great stories to recount! and lots of funny anecdotes, and a few tunes as well. So when the cousins cleared out the Aunt's personal effects, one of the things that was kept was Gramma's hoya. Only this time, clever cousin Margie decided it would be a good thing to divide the plant up, and share it with the other cousins. Which she did. One branch of that hoya now sits quietly in a corner in my home, where I regularly forget to feed or water it. In fact, I hardly notice it, until one day last week I did happen to see this thing hanging down from one of the tendrils it seems to have grown. Sure enough...closer inspection revealed a flower type growth... pale pink and pretty in a waxy sort of way. Yesterday it looked like this:


















And not even 24 hours later, it now looks like this! Amazing! Just like my grandmother, Marie Pauline Grambo, was. I promise to try and take better care of it ....

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan - you are an amazing person with words! Loved the story about the hoya and glad that you got a bloom - I am not certain the one at our house has bloomed or not - it certainly hadn't before we left.
Love, Jane

Murr Brewster said...

Well now! My grandma Petra (and grandpa Hans) were part of the Norwegian North Dakota invasion of the 1880s. Settled in Balfour, which isn't too far from Minot (where I have a cousin). Not only that, but I was just visiting a friend of mine in Massachusetts last week and correctly identified a Hoya she had in her kitchen--but I'd never seen flowers on one, and she ALSO has a single cluster of amazing flowers hanging from the bottom. Thanks for all the convergence.

Susan Ellis said...

That is amazing! I knew I liked you..now I know why! We're probably cousins ( as in 8th cousin,9 times removed or something, but still...):>)

Reader Wil said...

Beautiful post, Susan! The sky watch photo is very beautiful too!

Luiz Ramos said...

Beautiful and different flower.

Pam said...

You have a very lovely blog and I enjoyed you post.
Your Sky Watch photo was wonderful, thanks for sharing :D
Have a nice weekend...

Ann said...

Came from Skywatch Friday, Congrats!!!!

Love your Hoyas. I had a plant in Singapore but didn't grow very well.

A friend in Singapore is doing research on Hoya.

I didn't think they go in cold Canada. I was in Windsor 35 years ago. Haven't seen any in New Zealand.

Cheers,

Ann

Lorac said...

Hoyas are lovely and as you say take a fair bit of abuse too!

Regina said...

Congratulations for being featured.
Beautiful sky and shot.