Special flowers recall special people

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Few people put so much science and humor, honesty and passion into a catalog as Bob Stewart, late of Fowlerville, Michigan and globally known for his work with rare and unusual plants, natives and butterfly host plants at his nursery, Arrowhead Alpines. On any page of his catalogue practical and outlandish advice (notice here, regarding trellising vines, that lightning rod and vaporizing come into the picture) ran side by side with offhand chronicling of the great plant explorers of our time (Dirr's selection, Hinkley collected, etc.) and a mixture of art and wit that left us drooling for things with names like Wattakakka. Rest in peace, Bob and we'll keep on growing for you! 

Gone, but still rooted in our gardens

J.K., whose gardener father passed away recently, emailed after reading our comment that pansies were likely to be blooming in January, long beyond the local norm.

I thought I was the only one with pansies still blooming. Oh that Daniel and his pansies!

We understand your sentiment, J.K. It is wonderful to walk in a garden any time of year and feel our connections to those who gardened there before -- as Daniel did your garden. Wedo it, too, recalling as we see each plant, who gave it to us: "Dear Aili, we do apologize! If this snowball bush was still in your yard you would certainly have it better controlled," or "Marjorie you grow the sweetest smelling iris!" and "Curt, we can't grow it so well as you did but it's still a pretty impressive gas plant!"


A mentor to thousands, whose plants will continue to be available

Horticulture lost a stellar man in December of 2011. Bob Stewart, of Arrowhead Alpines in Fowlerville, Michigan, was internationally known for seed germination and propagation techniques as well as extremely fine plant selections. He passed away after a heroic battle with cancer. We will certainly remember him through the plants he turned us onto, and be very glad his wife Brigitta will keep them growing so we can keep going back for more. It may take three lifetimes to grow all Bob knew and nurtured, but we can try.