The Education Of A Gardener - 2008Sunday, July 13, 2008
On June 4, 1954 my grandmother (abuelita) gave me a Spanish language dictionary. I remember the event very clearly because she put the wrong date with her fountain pen when she dedicated it to me. She got all flustered but managed to correct it. The "dedicatoria" reads:
A loving memory for my very dear grandson Alex, so that it will help you perfect the use and love of the language that your grandfather Tirso spoke and loved so much and that you may someday become grandson that he would be proud of.
Abuelita, June 4, 1954.
Yesterday when we all went to Paul Leisz's Richmond home (it comes with a swimming pool) we were relaxing in his small backyard before our swim when Rebecca went to one of his two roses and sniffed at it. She said, "This is Abraham Darby, ins't it? "I was immediately able to confirm her accurate guess as I had given Paul the very rose last year. She then borrowed Paul's secateurs and began to deadhead both roses and remove the few leaves with blackspot. it ocurred to me that Rebecca at 10 knows more about gardening than I did in 1986.
This morning I thought about the dictionary that my grandmother gave me in 1954. I no longer use it as I find the on-line RAE much more convenient. But rarely is memory of that dictionary and my grandmother not in my thoughts. I spied the rose book ( A Pocket Guide to Roses - Species, Care And Garden Design by Sandra Lindner )that I had given Rebecca last month. She had left it yesterday when we bypassed coming back home from Paul's and we took her and Lauren directly home.
I opened the book and it didn't take me long to write:
To my dear granddaughter Rebbecca that she may learn to love roses and other plants as your Papi, Abi and my mother Filomena loved.
June 22, 2008