Sunday, July 13, 2008

Geoffrey Charlesworth's passing

From The Semper Vivum, the Genesee Valley Chapter newsletter:

We are saddened to learn that Geoffrey Charlesworth has died. If you don’t know of Geoffrey Charlesworth, he was one of the stalwarts of NARGS and with his partner, Norman Singer, produced beautiful gardens in Sandisfield, MA. His book, "The Opinionated Gardener," is a wonderful read, full of information and humor. You may remember his whimsical poem, “Why Did My Plant Die?” which was featured in our April 2007 newsletter. This exceptional man, generous with his time, talents and garden, will be greatly missed by everyone in NARGS.

And here is Geoffrey's poem:

Why Did My Plant Die?
Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

You walked too close. You trod on it.
You dropped a piece of sod on it.
You hoed it down. You weeded it.
You planted it the wrong way up.
You grew it in a yogurt cup
But you forgot to make a hole;
The soggy compost took its toll.
September storm. November drought.
It heaved in March, the roots popped out.
You watered it with herbicide.
You scattered bonemeal far and wide.
Attracting local omnivores,
Who ate your plant and stayed for more.
You left it baking in the sun
While you departed at a run
To find a spade, perhaps a trowel,
Meanwhile the plant threw in the towel.
You planted it with crown too high;
The soil washed off, that explains why.
Too high pH. It hated lime.
Alas it needs a gentler clime.
You left the root ball wrapped in plastic.
You broke the roots. They're not elastic.
You walked too close. You trod on it.
You dropped a piece of sod on it.
You splashed the plant with mower oil.
You should do something to your soil.
Too rich. Too poor. Such wretched tilth.
Your soil is clay. Your soil is filth.
Your plant was eaten by a slug.
The growing point contained a bug.
These aphids are controlled by ants,
Who milk the juice, it kills the plants.
In early spring your garden's mud.
You walked around! That's not much good.
With heat and light you hurried it.
You worried it. You buried it.
The poor plant missed the mountain air:
No heat, no summer muggs up there.
You overfed it 10-10-10.
Forgot to water it again.
You hit it sharply with the hose.
You used a can without a rose.
Perhaps you sprinkled from above.
You should have talked to it with love.
The nursery mailed it without roots.
You killed it with those gardening boots.
You walked too close. You trod on it.
You dropped a piece of sod on it.


Unknown said...

We will miss you Geoffrey Charlesworth.

Anonymous said...

I saw his slide show on the history of NARGS at the Winter Study Weekend in Connecticut in February 2008. Sorry to have missed meeting him. His book, The Opinionated Gardener, is entertaining and full of information.