A Gardener’s Perspective
Written by: Keith Glaznap, Certified Arborist WI-0678A
Perspective is an interesting thing. You could ask 10 people to describe the meaning of a song and you would likely get 10 different responses. In the tree business a client’s perspective is vital for properly caring for their trees. While many of my clients have a unique perspective about their own properties, there is one person that changed the way that I think about clients and their properties. I would now like to briefly share her story.
Rachel has been a loyal client for over 20 years and I had an opportunity to meet with her for the first time just 3 years ago. Rachel has a variety of beautiful perennials all around her home. She has trillium, daffodils, hosta, mint, holly, and the list goes on. . Given that all of these plants are relatively common in Wisconsin you may be asking yourself, what makes them so special?
It’s actually what you can’t see in this landscape that stands out to me. I am referring to Rachel’s perspective. The story that Rachel shares about each plant takes you inside her soul and paints a picture of her life.
It all began with one of my first visits to her property. We were reviewing the plants in her yard and she used the term “mother” to refer to her Coreopsis and Coral belles’. When I first heard this, I thought nothing of it and quickly dismissed it. A little while later she referred to her rhubarb plants as “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. With my curiosity now rising I decided to inquire about the meaning of the names. What Rachel shared with me next was like having a veil pulled from my eyes. Her face lit up and she happily shared with me “who” all of her plants were. She gave me a tour around her yard and shared some brief stories behind several different plants. “The baptisia plant was Lois, a friend of her mothers. Mother would use this same plant to die wool for making different garments when I was young. Oh, and I can remember eating rhubarb from this very plant in grandmas garden as a young girl.” Rachel’s plants, some now more than 100 years old, were transplanted from the gardens of her family and friends. Additionally these plants are now serving as living memorials to those friends and relatives who have passed on. This is much more than just a collection of plants; it is a collection of memories.
Rachel’s garden tour that day has really given me an opportunity to appreciate yet another perspective on plants and what they can mean for different people. I hope that everyone reading has enjoyed this brief look into Rachel’s garden as much as I have. I would like to extend a special thank you to Rachel for sharing these stories and experiences not just with me, but with all of you. As always, take care and have a great day!