Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Hills Are Alive on Green Thumb Sunday



"Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow..."



It's not the prettiest flower in the gardens, but what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for as a
conversation starter. Visitors bend down to get a closer look at the plant marker to see what the fuzzy white star blooms are. Invariably, they'll get a smile on their face and say, "So that's what Edelweiss looks like!"

No doubt we all became familiar with this unique plant thanks to the classic movie, The Sound of Music. This was one of the very first movies I saw in a theater and I was so taken with it that I played my parents' soundtrack LP over and over and over again. I knew every song by heart and practiced my imitations of Maria, Liesl, Mother Superior, and little Gretl.

When our family was fortunate to get to visit the Swiss Alps area of Europe the summer of 1974, I once again encountered Edelweiss, incorporated into tourist items such as pressed and framed specimens, embroidered handkerchiefs, and the like. We got to visit Salzburg and saw familiar sites from the movie, including the gazebo where Liesl met Rolf on that rainy night.

I've had Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) in my garden for three summers now and while it hasn't spread much, it's faithful about returning and producing several cottony blooms. When I walk by and take notice of them, I'm taken back to those days of my youth and I break into song...

"Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me."


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10 comments:

Nancy J. Bond said...

So THAT is what edelweiss looks like! :) (I still know all the lyrics to Sound of Music.)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such a fun post Kylee. I even heard the melody as I started singing along...

Shady Gardener said...

I didn't know it would grow anywhere in the midwest, much less in the USA! :-) Is this a hybrid of some type? I'm impressed!!!

Layanee said...

I also love that movie and soundtrack. I don't have edelweiss but can see the 'blossom of snow'. A nice reminder of happy times and music.

Gina said...

kylee - that is my all time favorite movie! And I never knew what that stuff looked like. Do you find that you can't stop singing that song in your garden? I'd love to have some of that stuff but I tend to get fixated on things and I wonder if it would drive me crazy. The song in my head I mean.

garden girl said...

I had no idea edelweiss could grow in these parts!

This post brought back memories of road trips when my kids were young. My middle daughter knew all the lines and all the lyrics from Sound of Music by heart by the time she was about 5 years old. She'd entertain us and encourage us to sing along as she'd go through the entire movie and score from memory.

We were always amazed, and it made the trip go by pretty fast with all of us singing our hearts out along with her. Thanks for bringing back those memories Kylee!

Aiyana said...

When I was in Switzerland, we were told that Edelweiss was very hard to find. As we hiked up a mountainside, we ran into stands of it. I pressed some and have them in a scrapbook of my trip. I didn't realize Edelweiss grew anywhere else!
Aiyana

Jane Marie said...

I, to, have never heard of Edelweiss in the US but ther you are in Ohioh in my neck of the woods. I'd like to know how to find it. Now I'm on a hunt. Pretty or not, I also like the conversation piece idea.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

So THAT'S what Edelweiss looks like! (I just had to say it). You know I've always wondered and now that I see it, it's construct makes perfect since with all the other alpine plants I'm familiar with. So cool!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Rose said...

One of my favorite movies growing up, too. This brought back a memory for me--when my parents finally got to take their dream trip to Germany some years ago, my Dad sneaked an Edelweiss plant into his luggage home. He is such a strict rule-follower, he felt guilty about it. But he was also excited to be able to grow Edelweiss. Of course, it didn't last in his garden, which he saw as perfect justice for his misdeed.

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