The Gift: a passion for plants

While I spend most of my time looking for new plants, today I discovered some plants that were old but personally significant. My father sent me an email with a link to a website called Penny Postcards. On this site you can view old postcards arranged geographically by state and county. My father directed me to the cards for Linn County, Iowa. Here I discovered beautiful postcards of gardens designed by my late grandfather William Wood, the former manager of parks for Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I’ve never met my grandfather. I am sad to say he died before I was born, but I do feel a closeness to William for like my father and me, he was a plantsman. He was trained in England as a true master gardener before he immigrated to the town made famous by Quaker Oats. I have visited the parks of Cedar Rapids many times and with each visit I was warmly greeted with the smell of cooked oats and the lasting remnants of William’s handy work; the Ellis Park golf course, the ruins of an old Shakespeare garden and trees planted by his caring hands. No, I have never met my grandfather, but still, I have come to know him. He loved plants and gardens, and he had a desire to share his passion with others, and that is the gift he gave to me.

Now you can subscribe to the Plant Hunter and get your updates by email.