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, HOLD ON............”

When 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.

 Early 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.

 Charlie 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.  

Two 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 Seaver.

 

Now 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.

THE ANSWERS

 

I 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 BETTER.

MOST PEOPLE ARE PROBABLY NOT ENTHRALLED WITH THE QUANTITY OF HOSTAS THAT ARE AVAILABLE.

LIMITING 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. 

I 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. 

I FORGOT TO TELL YOU I THINK A GARDEN SHOULD INCLUDE A BIRD BATH AND A BIRD FEEDER.

 

I AM PROUD TO SAY I HAVE A GARDEN.

 

Mildred Seaver

Needham, MA

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