Saturday, April 3, 2010

Grandpa's Gift

My dear father-in-law passed away quite a few years ago but was a wonderful man. He thought his children and eventually his grandchildren could do no wrong. They retired to their summer home on Lake Simcoe at Alcona Beach north of Toronto. It was a cottage he had built with his own two hands and the help of anyone who offered. That was back in the days when friends and neighbours really helped each other. If one had an electrical problem then an electrician would offer to come fix it or a plumbing problem up popped a plumber or someone who knew enough to help out. None of them had much money so they all chipped in to help.

Grandma & Grandpa Butler came down many years to Chicago to spend time with us and the kids. He would chase them all over the house and Mrs. B would say stop you crazy old fool you are worse then the kids with a smile on her face. The kids loved it.

He was a master gardener, born in England but his family immigrated to Canada when he was just 3 years old. He held many jobs over the years but the one constant was his gardening. He eventually started his own small one man business and did it until he retired. Boy would I love to have a guy like him around my garden now. When they retired to the cottage he had the time and was there to water, etc. and he built a beautiful English garden all down the side of their property. People would drive over just to look at his flowers and he never met a person he didn't treat like an old friend. Would you like a clipping or a small bunch of this or that from my garden? Off they would go to plant it in their own gardens. Well one day this week I received this picture from my daughter Sue who has inherited her grandpa's green thumb and loves gardening. I do too which makes it really nice. She sent me a picture of what she called "Grandpa's Lungwort". Many, many years ago I bought a small bunch of this down to Chicago and planted it in my gardens. When we moved I would dig up a bit and take it with. Well I still have a patch in my garden from the original and Sue's patch came from mine. I believe the 2 boys have some if not I must make sure they get a bit. Let me know boys. I have also given this to friends in the garden club and everyone seems to have success with it.

When I see this plant all in flower you know it is Spring and the new awakening of another glorious summer. With this in mind I would like to wish you all a Happy Easter and if you are ever in our area you would be happily invited over and would be given a piece of grandpa's lungwort.

Love to my kids and grandkids on Easter.

FredaB otherwise known as Mum


Maggi said...

He sounds like a wonderful man and how nice for his memory to live on in such a tangible way.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What a great story to go along with a pretty plant. We have some in our garden too, but didn't know what it was called. When we moved here the garden was pretty much non-existent and we told our friends & family that we didn't want any housewarming gifts, but would really love it if they would think kindly of us if they had any clippings to share. We came home many days to a bag (or more) sitting on our step. Jack planted everything and most took. We have no clue what a lot of them are, but they are a constant delight. A 'friendship garden' in the true sense of the word!