Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Serial (The Quickies), Part 6

6. Less well known than the conservatory at the Botanical Gardens, and yet of enormous benefit to many, including Mrs. Susanna Dewitt, mother of Tom the chiropractor, were the Glass Gardens at the Rusk Institute providing horticultural therapy to the patients rehabilitating there. Upon losing her leg after a valiant fight against the encroaching venom of the Indochinese Sea Snake, Susanna spent six months at Rusk regaining her strength and learning to walk with a prosthetic limb. It was her right leg. She also spent the time learning to graft tree peonies. The peonies she worked on, there in the hospital’s garden hidden from the surrounding city, were all named for Greek gods and goddesses, all named by their hybridizer Nassos Daphnis: Demeter, Persephone, Hephaestus, and Leda. This pleased Susanna because she had met the late Mr. Teddy DeWitt on a Greek island and they had revisited it every year while he lived, and if he still lived she would never have gone to Vietnam and been bitten by the sea snake and so would probably still have her right leg now. Time stood still or crawled when she worked with the tree peonies, and even stiller afterwards when she walked out of the Rusk on her shapely prosthesis. It would be years before she would know if her peony grafts had taken.

And now, dear readers - if you are out there and if you are dear - I will be off the grid for about a week so this would be a good opportunity (comments section) for you to express yourselves and let me know if you are enjoying any of this blog. Or if not, though I am very thin-skinned.


Rebecca said...

Your readers are out there; they are dear, and they do appreciate your serial, even if they don't always post a comment!

lewis said...

Dear writer, I love your blog and especially loved the inclusion of the Daphnis tree peonies in your latest post. Have a wonderful time off the grid, but do return to blog again. It makes my day.

Lis said...

I would love to have Mrs. Dewitt come work on my tree peonies. Better yet, can she make the real McCoys grow here a few blocks inland from the Pacific Ocean? Peonies and lilacs, my favorite flowers that alas do not do well here.
But I am going to plant a huge variety of tulips, feed them to my exotic punk kitten Oscar and see if I can't sweeten him up. Much like cows from Denmark, get him fast and lazy and sleeping on one side.