One year ago today, on Wednesday October 26, 2022, Larry Hodgson passed away.
The Laidback Gardener had been diagnosed with degenerative pulmonary fibrosis in 2016. After battling the disease for years, he was hospitalized and opted for medical aid in dying.
When I’m in Quebec City, I always visit my father’s garden. Every time, there’s something new. The first spring flowers, the leaves of perennials emerging from the ground… Every time of year has its own flowers, colorful fruits or seed pods as decorative as inflorescences.
I marvel at so many surprises, but I also ask myself questions. What is this mysterious plant? Did my father plant it himself, or did it appear on its own and he welcomed it? Did he know that this perennial would spread so widely, or was it another of those experiments he liked to do?
I won’t have answers, of course. But sometimes I get the impression, from spending time in his garden and reading his writings, that I’m beginning to understand his intentions or see the mistakes he made and learned from. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of walking the paths of his garden and making discoveries about plants, about my father, about myself.
Another Season Draws to a Close
Larry left us at a time when gardens change, when many plants go dormant and disappear, but not without a final flourish, just like my father, who shared his love of gardening to the very end.
For me, it’s always a time of intense activity that suddenly ceases, giving way to a period of introspection. I finally have time to look back on another season that is drawing to a close. My memories of my father are now forever associated with this bittersweet, harsh, but oh-so-beautiful season.
While I’m sad that he’s gone, I’m even happier that he was part of my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am, our gardens wouldn’t be what they are, without him.