Mom only saved a few of Dad’s possessions after he died, but what she did save are gems. I have his photo albums, some of his landscape drawings, a few paintings and his painter’s easel. What I didn’t realize before today was that the battered, green book of his that I’ve hung on to all these years is a gardening encyclopedia!
While rummaging through a cabinet in search of a White Elephant gift, I removed the book to reach the back of the cabinet. Before returning it, I cracked the cover and there it was: my father’s lovely handwriting dated January 3, 1930. The next page revealed that I was holding The EncylopÆdia of Gardening by T.W Sanders, Knight of First Class of the Royal Order of Vasa, Sweden.
My dad was a horticulturist, so it’s not surprising that he had this book. What amazed me is that I didn’t realize what I had all these years. It’s a small book, no bigger than a paperback. There are no illustrations, but a few advertisements appear on the last few pages of the book. I’m dying to sit down and read it cover to cover. I read the forward and some of the introduction, then decided to look up a few plants.
I’m named after Dad’s sister, Alys, so I started with Alyssum. Not only did I find it listed, but there was a small mark next to the entry. Goosebumps! As an aside, I learned that Alyssum was first introduced in 1710. I can’t get the grin off my face.
One last little treasure: between the middle pages were four postage stamps from India, where Dad lived before the war. The stamps say India Postage, Three Pies.
I’ve been beaming all day.