How does a plant doctor-plant pathologist end her autobiography, titled Plant Doctoring is Fun? If you are Cynthia Westcott, you end it with a collection of recipes and an invitation to join her on Rose Day.
Westcott celebrated Rose Day in her garden on the second Sunday of June. For the occasion, she baked hundreds of cookies and mixed up gallons of punch.
I assume she also primped the roses in her gardens a bit.
She treated her garden as a test garden. Her guests could view all her roses and see the effects of different treatments. She reported that 500 – 700 people visited her garden each year on her Rose Day.
Her recipes are an interesting mix, mostly for cakes and cookies. Many of the recipes have instructions to “bake in a slow oven”, which I assume harkens back to a time when the oven was either fueled with wood or gas, without a thermostat.
Her Rose Day Punch included water, tea, pineapple juice, lemon juice, orange juice, grape juice, and optionally ginger ale. My quick calculation indicate that all the liquid ingredients added up to 4 gallons.
Westcott never seemed to do anything halfway or in small doses. Whether preparing for Rose Day or driving halfway across the country as “the plant doctor”, she did indeed seem to have fun wherever she went.
Next year, on the second Sunday of June, I think I’ll try to pause for just a minute and remember Cynthia Westcott, the plant doctor, and what she was able to accomplish in her lifetime.