Walking the grounds in the evening with a glass of wine, I often find myself thinking of, if not talking to, Joe Saury, gardener and close friend, sadly gone from this world. He was a man of great intellect and kindness, who loved conversation and books, and cooking side by side with friends.
About his friends he understood so much: our ranges and requirements, our limitations– just as he had an aptitude for horticulture and the way to nurture plants. We used to talk, as people in their fifties will, about the transience of everything; the seeming randomness of disaster and disease; and more than once he remarked that it takes sheer courage on everyone’s part to simply get out of bed in the morning. In a sense he was right of course.
Something else he said that has stayed with me and helps when I am feeling “excessive-compulsive” as I like to call it, particularly in my acquisition of plants: that gardening should be a Big, Extravagant Experiment. I miss you, Joe.