Thursday, February 8, 2007

Two Gardeners

I was enthralled and deeply moved by this book. Enthralled, because reading their letters was akin to reading modern day garden blogs. I was deeply moved by their deaths because I felt by the end of the book that I knew them.

Their letters also brought back a lot of memories for me. My maternal grandmother was a few years older than Katharine White. Unlike many women of her time, she married late in life and had my mother when she was close to 40. When I knew her, she had retired and was living in an apartment. I loved accompanying her when she went "visiting". Part of those visits involved tours of her friends' gardens. Gardens that looked very much like the photos and descriptions of Katharine's and Elizabeth's gardens. Their letters sounded eerily like the conversations during those visits.

The descriptions of the flower shows made me laugh! I remember shows like those derided in their letters. My poor mother tried and tried to learn flower arranging. Books, classes, garden club lectures, nothing helped. She finally settled on just entering specimen plants and flowers. I should add that she won several prizes in local shows. And that I inherited her inability to arrange flowers in an attractive manner.

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