Monday, April 26, 2010

Eulogy for Mom

Eulogy for Betty Hale Newton, written and read by her daughter Holly.

One of Betty's daughters read this yesterday, April 25th, 2010, at the memorial at Summer's Past Farms.
"Mother, the Gardener at Large

Did you know my Mother was a super hero? Yep, she went by the super hero name of The Gardener at Large.

Her powers were:
· To teach about climate zones and slow release fertilizer
· To identify plant disease at a simple glance
· To write a fact filled plant article in time to prepare a four course dinner
· To leave a little jewel of knowledge with every individual she came in contact with
· To make Southern California aware of drought resistant landscaping and drip irrigation

The Gardener at Large would start her day armed with her daily list, put on her lipstick and purse and her trademark wide brimmed hat and take off down the hill from her intelligence center (designed to look like a domestic family dwelling) and whisk away to spread the word on plants.

Armed with her tattered Sunset Western Garden book, no aphid or dandelion was ever safe when The Gardener at Large was at hand. Often speaking in Latin or Greek, she quickly switched to the common man’s tongue to communicate with the uneducated plant enthusiasts.

Always handling every challenge with grace, enthusiasm and determination, my super hero, The Gardener at Large, satisfied many a person’s gardening dilemma.

At the end of the day, this super hero rolled up her driveway, washed the dirt off her hands, traded her dirt stained pants for something clean and an apron, touched up her lipstick, and prepared cold lemonade and a hot dinner for her family.

A garden whirlwind by day, a mild mannered, supportive wife and mother by night, there was so much more to Mother than her green thumb and desire to share her knowledge.

I have two questions for all of you. How many of you were students of Betty’s? How may of you have or had a plant that mother gave you?

Well then, The Gardener at Large, my Mother, Betty Newton, lives on."

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