The Last Word
Everybody has a story about Mildred Seaver. I will share the
story of how we met .........before I let her have her say about gardens. I can
only do this because she is not standing behind me saying: “NOW JUST A MINUTE,
the hosta robin first came into existence (many years ago now) I joined with
alacrity. I knew less than nothing about computers and
just a little more about hostas. Membership promised hosta knowledge,
hosta friends, and a new way of communicating. All of this proved to be true, in
fact there were many other “benefits” from the hosta robin. But I will save
those for...my.. my hosta memoirs.
on, the robin membership tried a variety of gambits to start a dialogue amongst
the membership. One of the early opening moves was to list one’s favorite
hostas and hope for support in the rapture that you yourself felt for your
“favorites”. I decided that I would try another tack. I asked people to
make a list of their most boring hostas. I set an example by sharing my own list
which included H. ”Allan P. McConnell”. Little did I know.
Seaver was a member of the hosta robin too. He would often chime in with his
expertise. I did not realize his ancestry, or his habit of sharing his e-mail. I
had heard of Mildred Seaver and her “nom de plume”----- QUEEN OF THE HOSTAS.
Beyond this I was clueless. I had no idea where she lived, or indeed if she was
still living. I plead ignorance....... and it was blissful....briefly.
or three weeks after my list of boring hostas went out to the troops, I received
a 6:30am phone call. The person on the other end of the line immediately said:
“Do you know who I am?” The
answer seemed self-evident and I kept quiet. The voice then intoned: “I am
Queen of the Hostas”. I immediately told this person that I was Atilla the
Hun. The person was not impressed with my lineage. She then said, “I believe
that you said that my hosta ‘Allan P. McConnell’ is boring.” She quickly
followed up by asking me if I was a Master Judge. The conversation went on for a
good hour and finally ended with my promise that I would send her a hand-made
Christmas card by Priority Mail. This was my introduction to my friend Mildred
to the good part.
Mildred has now mastered e-mail on the computer ....... much more quickly than I did. Her voice in person, on the phone, in letters, or by e-mail, remains happily undiminished. I am going to leave out the questions I asked her. The answers stand alone and are far more interesting than my queries. Mildred responded in upper case letters and that is just the way I am going to leave it.
THINK THE AVERAGE GARDENER NEEDS ONLY TEN OR TWELVE (HOSTAS) TO GET A GOOD
SELECTION OF WHAT IS OUT THERE. FOR EXTRA LARGE GARDENS, TWENTY WOULD BE O.K. IT
IS IMPORTANT TO SAVE SPACE FOR A NEW ONE EACH YEAR---------THEY GET BETTER AND
PEOPLE ARE PROBABLY NOT ENTHRALLED WITH THE QUANTITY OF HOSTAS THAT ARE
ONE’S HOSTAS DOES NOT FORCE ONE TO LOOK CLOSER. IT DOES GIVE YOU MORE TIME TO
LOOK AT THEM OR LOOK AT A FRIEND’S GARDEN ,OR GIVE A FRIEND A PHONE CALL, OR
INVITE SOMEONE FOR A FANCY AFTERNOON TEA.
NOT ONLY THINK FLOWERS SHOULD BE IN A GARDEN, BUT VEGETABLES, SHRUBS,
EVERGREENS, FRUIT TREES, STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, BENCHES, A HAMMOCK,
A TABLE, A CAT, GOLD FISH OR KOI, AND A MOSQUITO FREE GAZEBO. THE
BLUEBERRIES, AND FRUIT TREES AND SHRUBS ARE ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE TIME TO
TAKE CARE OF THEM, OR THE MONEY TO HIRE SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM.
FORGOT TO TELL YOU I THINK A GARDEN SHOULD INCLUDE A BIRD BATH AND A BIRD
AM PROUD TO SAY I HAVE A GARDEN.