|Joan Franson alongside Grandma's Blessing rose All pictures but the last by Kevin Spray|
Speaking of roses, never have I seen roses bloom as beautifully in the autumn (it's November and our roses at the Gardens are spectacular still!). During the service I renewed my acquaintance with Kevin Spray, who's been helping Joan with her garden for many years. Kevin told me that Joan's rose garden was in full bloom, and I asked to visit: the following pictures give a few glimpses of her beloved garden in late autumn--taken last week. All of us who knew and loved Joan still find it hard that someone of such vitality could pass so quickly from us. I will end this blog with Herrick's classic poem which speaks to more than just youth..
|The Franson rose garden October 28, 2014|
I was especially charmed with this rose--with flowers in various shades of buff pink...I didn't find a label: where's Joan we we need her?
Another view of that rose...
|Enormous Wasatch Maple (Acer grandidentatum) at the Franson's October 28, 2014|
|Kevin Spray with Acer grandidentatum at the Franson's|
|Apricot in fall color (left), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Abies concolor at the Franson's|
Joan was president of the Associates in 1980 when I was hired: the Associates actually paid my salary for several years (so she always said she was my first boss). I was touched to see this plaque and realize that it represented 50 years of devoted service not only to our senior Volunteer organization, but to Denver Botanic Gardens as a whole: that's dedication.
|Matt Douglas (left) Scott Scogerboe (upper center), Joan Franson (lower center) and myself Jeanine Spellman|
You never know from day to day when the last time you'll see a friend or relative. I never dreamed when Jeanine Spellman took this picture less than three months ago that it would be the last picture I'd have of Joan and me, and one of my last times to visit with her. She has left us not just with that infectious smile, but with a wealth of memories and chuckles, and the gift of much guidance and knowledge.
Another friend who knew Joan a long time said to me "You know, we had so much fun together, I never realized how much I learned from her, and how great a mentor she was". I don't think I've met many people who made so much of their time on earth and gathered untold rose buds. She passed out of this world with panache just as she passed her rich and varied life. We are the ones who must heed the poem's drift!
Our condolences go out to her many close friends, and especially to Herb, her loving husband, who supported her in every way for so many decades.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he’s a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he’s to setting. That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former. Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry.