Lady’s Slipper legacy

Ah the delicate lady’s slipper…

Today the sun shines brightly, and I am anxious to get into the garden for weeding, as my treasured lady’s slipper needs some space for blooming.  I had been away on a holiday and when I returned, the grass was knee-high, the weeds reaching up skyward and I had not yet snatched up my geraniums and plant pots from the gardening centre.

kpardell geraniums-20174425 Her ladyship was blooming but buried behind a wall of weeds. This morning I rushed about with household chores and then flew out the door for weeding that front garden.

Years ago, when we had moved into our first home, my mother gave me a lady’s slipper from her homestead in Saskatchewan. She was born and raised in the house, and her mother had always grown lady’s slipper quite readily in the yard. After my grandmother passed away, my mom dug up one plant for me to carry on. Who would know how long the farmhouse would remain in our family standing many miles from her generations.

kpardell ladyslippers-20174420kpardell ladyslippers-20174419

The lady’s slipper is lovely in the early morning sun of the eastern light, and only blooms for perhaps a week or two in my garden. Then she lies dormant until the following spring.  I have not seen many of these plants in northern Canada though they grow fairly abundantly all over the country. The modified petals grow inward to form the toe of the “slipper.”

Facts about the Lady’s Slipper;

  1. It is a wild orchid
  2. It’s the provincial floral emblem of PEI.
  3. 8 species are native to Canada
  4. The plant was held in high regard by Native Americans
  5. the root was used to relieve nervousness, headaches, spasms, and cramps. The Chippewa placed the dried and remoistened root directly onto skin inflammations and toothaches to relieve discomfort.  Also used to ease menstrual and labour pains and to counter insomnia and nervous conditions.
  6. Is difficult to grow.

This fall, I will try to divide it to give to my son in his first home, so the pretty little lady can be appreciated by my grand daughter. ♡

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