|Bumblebee on a Zinnia|
Welcome! You’ve come to the right place if you are looking for the SGAFO meeting.
SGAFO, you may remember, is the Society for Gardeners Aged Fifty and Over.
I was pleased to join this esteemed Society not too long ago, a little over two years ago. Two years, one month and two days ago, to be exact. Can that much time have really passed since that fateful day?
I remember the excitement I felt, the butterflies, the nervousness. Would I be accepted? Someone as young as I? And now those even younger are joining, everyday.
It is a moment that many gardeners cherish, when they can finally join this Society. Some join quite openly and but others prefer to join as secret members, not yet ready to announce their membership. That’s fine. All are welcome!
For today’s impromptu SGAFO meeting, let us first ascertain who is here. Any new members who have just turned fifty? Or turned fifty since the last meeting? Anyone?
Anyone less than fifty here, just interested to find out what they have to look forward to?
Okay, next order of business is the program!
Today’s program is…
Inspiring Garden Writers Who Published Books After They Turned Fifty.
Did you know that Ida D. Bennett was over 50 when she wrote two of her books? “The Busy Woman’s Garden Book” published by Small, Maynard & Company, 1920, and “The Making of a Flower Garden” published by Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, 1919. Most sources indicate Bennett was born in 1860, but at least one source indicates she may actually have been born in 1854, which means she was closer to 49 when she published her first of five books in 1903. One wonders if Bennett changed her year of birth so that she could keep her membership in SGAFO a secret for just awhile longer.
One of our favorite garden writers, Elizabeth Lawrence, was born in 1904. This means that most of her books including A Garden in Winter, The Little Bulbs, and Lob’s Wood were published well after her 50th birthday.
Fast forward to these modern times. Michele Owens, whose own passage to fifty was recorded on the popular blog, Garden Rant, just last week published her book, “Grow the Good Life”. Check out her list of the ten best things about aging as a gardener. I especially like number ten, “I will always have a community, too–the company of other gardeners, who are clearly the wisest and most wonderful people in the world.”
To that we say Amen!
(Imagine resounding applause, hoots and hollers, and a little foot stomping from all present.)
I’m sure there are many other writers and gardeners, and maybe even some non-gardeners, who can inspire us with tales of fun and frolic, meaning and moments, after fifty. Would anyone like to mention someone particularly inspiring, who accomplished something after turning fify?
And now a few words to conclude our meeting.
The point for all our members is that life in the garden, and out of the garden, really is just getting going at fifty. It’s a wonderful time, to be enjoyed and celebrated!
So to all members, we say go forth and show the world that we are a part of a vibrant, active, plant-buying, hoe-wielding, shovel-swinging group of gardening geeks not to be ignored, but to be celebrated and honored.
Thank you. Meeting adjourned. No creaking as you get up. Step lively now, Spring is coming!