Ms. Marilyn 2/3/23

Ms. Marilyn 2/3/23

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on

  Hi y’all!  We’ve been hinting at it for awhile now, but today’s the day!  We’re announcing this new seed that we are super excited to be spreading out into the world!  For 5 years Mandy has been working on this project that started with the passing of the woman who married us.  My dear cousin and our amazing friend and life mentor, Marilyn.  She lit up every room she ever entered and raised every spirit in that room.

  At her celebration of life, we were gifted a packet of wildflower seeds to plant in her honor. Instead of scattering them in the yard, Mandy planted a dedicated row to really honor her and watch the phases of growth.  In the process, she noticed a completely unique color of forget-me-not flower.  You can get pink or blue ones, but somehow, out of all the flowers, there was one single plant that bloomed in almost a smoky lavender color.

  She let that plant go to seed and collected seeds from only that one plant.  The next year, those seeds became plants, and those plants developed flowers and we were overjoyed to find that 1/2 of them were indeed the new smoky lavender color!  They are 20-30” tall and are a great cut flower.  This was so exciting to us!  She immediately pulled out every blue flowering plant and let the lavender ones continue to flower and cross pollinate each other.

  The next year, they were all true lavender.  And to be sure, she grew them out for 2 more years with the same results.  A true breeding smoky lavender forget-me-not.  We reached out to cousin Tom (Marilyn’s husband) and asked him to name this new flower. 

  Because Mandy came from Georgia and met my family in California back in 2006, her southern way of speaking charmed the hell out of my family.  As was her Savannah custom she called the woman in my family Ms. Denise, or Ms. Marilyn which seemed to delight everyone to no end.  It didn’t hurt that Mandy is super fun to be around.  But they loved her and they loved their new southern monikers.  So, when we asked Tom to do the honor of giving this new flower a name, he quickly replied “Ms. Marilyn.”  We couldn’t think of a better choice.

  This woman whose joy and love spread out to what seems like 100’s of cousins in a way that made each of us feel like we were her favorite, now continues to spread that joy and love in gardens and farms everywhere.  We know it will end up in bouquets celebrating marriages, celebrating the coming of a newborn, and celebrating the life of a loved one recently passed.

  This makes us happy.

  So, if you grow this flower and feel so inclined to save the seed and share it and spread it further, please do so and remember to share the name as well.

  If you’re interested in growing some, you can find them here!

  We hope y’all have a great weekend.  We’ll be visiting with old friends and maybe trying to shake a little rust outta the joints to some loud music.