Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing Margaret


Our gardening guru, Margaret Moseley, is in the hospital.  At 95, she's had a pretty good run, but two weeks ago, she suddenly woke up with an excruciating pain in her back.  Then, this past weekend, her legs began swelling.

Long story short, Margaret developed blood clots and has gotten a stent put in.  The back trouble, it seems, comes from a fracture of the coccyx, which can be repaired with an outpatient procedure.  Throughout the ordeal, she's been laughing and joking and anxious to get back to her garden.

This is all such an odd story for us.  Margaret has been an inspiration to so many.  Just over two weeks ago, she was leading three of us around the garden, identifying every camellia and poking around in the beds to see what was coming up.  The next morning, she woke up with the back pain.

Margaret will be 96 in May, but she's been out there just about every day, thrilling over the hellebores and enjoying the scent of her daphnes.  The day we were there, she explained why she had one of her beds sheared almost to the ground.  It was the pesky alstroemeria, which I encouraged her to plant years ago.  I don't think she'll ever forgive me.

Margaret loves her cats, and I've always been charmed by this photograph, "Cat Contemplating Epimediums."  Just joking, but it does look like the kitty is thinking hard about the drift of this great shade perennial.  Margaret has it planted along a grassy path that runs the length of the garden on one side.  In back of it are various ferns and hydrangeas, and further down are rows of hostas.  For years, her friend Bud Martin, a hosta grower, has made sure she has the newest introductions.  You can also catch a glimpse of camellia foliage.  The blooms are long gone, but the glossy green leaves serve as a backdrop for the May and June flowers.

I understand that Margaret is going home tomorrow, which seems so soon (she went to the emergency room on Monday).  I already know she's not going to like all the rehab, but I think she'll do what's necessary to get back in the garden.  More camellias will be opening, and the early viburnums will begin perfuming the garden.  Then, spring will break open in all its glory.  I'm thinking Margaret will heal very quickly and be back out there before we know it.