Winterthur—and our blog readers—will see a bit of a change on March 27th. This is the last day that Karen will be officially working at Winterthur. I say officially because this garden has a strange way of luring former employees back, in one capacity or the other.
During her 16 year tenure, Karen has been a stalwart advocate for the garden. She was responsible—via the trams—for making sure that every guest had the opportunity to see the garden. She in turn would be the “eyes of the guest”, relaying to horticulture staff aspects of the garden as the visitor might see them. On top of the coordination that position demanded, she then became the major contributor to the Winterthur Garden Blog. In passing one time I inadvertently referred to it as “Karen’s Blog” and I realized that I did so because her voice was always there to trumpet some aspect of the garden. Her devotion and love of this garden was the motivating factor behind every responsibility she endlessly took on and the garden is a better place for it.
Karen leaves her position on a high note, having made it through the busiest and most demanding visitation year in our history during Winterthur’s Downton Abbey exhibition. With the success—and relief—of making it through last year, Karen will be able to hang up her hat and spend more time with her grandchildren, and enjoy all of the relaxation and “doing other things” that comes with retirement. I don’t want to make promises, but in the “way that the garden lures you back” that I mentioned above, Karen says that she wants to “keep in touch” and be a guest writer for the blog. Her position may have changed but her dedication has not. After all, it is hard to leave friends—especially flowering ones who never gave you grief except perhaps when weather events such as frost, rain, or wicked winds struck during peak bloom time but they always made up for it in the following year!
Karen, in a week or so, the March Bank will give you a standing ovation for all that you have done to promote The Winterthur Garden. When you see it, may you have a sense of pride in your accomplishments and may it be a resounding Thank You from the garden and its tenders!