“We live. We die. And in between, we garden.”


Gardening has always been a great pleasure to Ann. When she was a girl of twelve she had a mini-business growing and selling herbs. Later she joined farmers’ wives in the Martha Washington Garden Club.

When the Scotts moved from Reno to Santa Rosa (a sorrowful move for Ann) she took out some of her frustration with a pickaxe on the hard clay of her new apartment. In that soil she planted the six rose bushes, lavender, and iris which she had brought from Reno.

All in all, Ann has lived in four apartments in her retirement community of Friends House, and in each apartment she has nurtured the garden. In her second apartment she planted a rosemary hedge and a gracious Oregon dogwood. In the third she added an arbor, a wisteria vine and ceramic tiles for the address. In her fourth and current apartment she has planted camellias and azaleas. In all of this planting there has been much joy.

The biggest gardening event came with Ann’s eightieth birthday. Son Peter had been persistently asking his mother what she wanted for her birthday celebration and she – already having everything – had no answer. Finally it occurred to her that it would be cheery if Peter planted in November a few daffodil bulbs that could welcome the spring in February.

Peter seized on the idea. “Good. Eighty years, eighty daffodil bulbs.”

In the end, Peter planted one hundred daffodils in the area of Ann’s apartment and some of them are still blooming come spring.

At Friends House, Ann has a front garden with iris and roses and rosemary, and a back garden, a little patch, with asparagus and tomatoes and artichokes. Now that she is 82, she values the help of her companion Meridith Goodrow in digging and planting. Ann herself gardens from a chair.