The Story of the Staghorn(s)

My Mother in Laws name was Shirley. When I came into the family in 1985, Shirleys season of life was difficult and I feel like we never really had the opportunity to get to know one another well. I was just the girl who married her baby boy.

The one thing we had in common, besides Steve, was plants. She had the GREENEST thumb. We would walk around her yard and she would teach me names of the plants. She would give me a cutting off of some and I would absolutely kill every one of them. I didn’t understand plants back then. I wanted to keep them alive but I was trying really hard to keep my small children alive.

After a horrible illness, Shirley passed away in 1996. Cancer Sucks.

Shirley had a Staghorn and after she passed away, Bill, my Father in Law left the Staghorn in the same tree in the backyard. I’m not sure how much he cared for it, but it grew and grew and grew. It was at least 30 years old.

Bill passed away in December of 2022. The family met at Bills house. I opened the back door and immediately saw the Staghorn.




I started asking “what is going to happen to the Staghorn?”

A few replies:

“Mom gave us cuttings once and mine died.”

“I have mine hanging in my tree.”

I asked “I would like to have some pieces if that’s ok and I really REALLY don’t want that beautiful plant sold with the house.”

With everyone’s blessing, I brought my saw zaw and cut the beautiful Staghorn into a bunch of smaller pieces.

It was hanging in that tree by a chain!!!

The sisters took a piece of the Staghorn if they wanted one and I brought the rest home with me.

I began to wonder what I would do with it all. I could not let them die.

I started to search you tube videos because I had zero knowledge how to care for or hang a staghorn. I did however have the perfect spot and I would just need a little help hanging it. It’s a perk having a really tall guy who loves me.

I also had a few friends that I asked if they wanted a piece of Shirley’s staghorn. The only request I made was that they named them. I read once that if you name your plants, it makes you feel more attached to them.

Of course my Staghorns name is Shirley . I will absolutely introduce her to you with her name. I don’t play.

My best girl Becky has a piece of Shirley and she also has one she brought from a nursery . Hers are named Bill and Bea. Bill for her Daddy and my Father in Law and Her Momma and mine both have the name Bea. Her moms name was Beatrice and my Mommas name is Beulah. ❤️❤️❤️

Wendy has a piece of Shirley and she named hers Laverne. Shirley’s best friend. Wendy and I went plant shopping today and every plant we picked up had to have a name. Some were very spicy and so much fun.

Esther has two pieces of Shirley. Ones name is Siesta and the other Charma (How sweet is that) Esther now wants to name more of her plants!

Now you know the story of my Staghorn and some of my friends as well.

Every time I look up into my tree and see Shirley, I just have to smile.

Here’s to memories Bill and Shirley.

About Charmadawn

Jesus lover 💜 Wife of Steve for 36 years 💜 Mom to 2 grown kiddos 💜 BB to grandsons Jack, Luke and Patrick Joseph 💜5 years ago we purchased, Rescued and Restored a 118 year old farmhouse and we live together as a multigenerational household. Come follow our crazy. Isaiah 54:7
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