Thursday, February 5, 2009

Aunt Augusta in her Garden Attire

Richardson Wright, in his Another Gardener's Bed-Book published in 1933, offers this item for these first days of February...

They tell the story of a botanist on one of the scientific expeditions to a desolate corner of the world, how he came across a rare plant, and, instead of rooting up the whole of it, took only a piece and replanted the rest. Would that some of our wild-flower enthusiasts exercised the same discrimination and thought!

That item I would place first if I ever wrote a book on garden manners. To it I would add the suggestion that a good gardener, however soiled and clumsy a person he may appear to be, is invariable worthy of respect. Gardeners perhaps suffer from the fact that, except for an occasional apron, the craft now wears no distinctive livery. Once the blue apron was their insignia and if one gardener wished to speak contemptuously of another, he would call him a "blue apron pretender." Now even a porter wears that blue apron.

Today the jockey displays his master's colors, the maid has her uniform, the chauffeur is clothed according to this rand, but the gardener is happy in baggy pants and an old coat. We must respect him for his intelligence and love for green growing things.

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