It is with great sadness that we say our last goodbye to Elizabeth Tolbert. who died on August 18th, 2015 at the age of 94.
Ms Elizabeth volunteered at the Greenhouse for 19 plus years after her retirement – being the 4th volunteer to join the weekly Tuesday mornings. Her specialty was cuttings – she very precisely cut and placed cuttings in the right pots with the right pruners and the right stick for making holes! If her tools were missing, then she had the younger, more agile volunteers hunting them down! – and filling pots and watering. And we did it gladly!
She hated leaving space in a pot of cuttings – many a time we had to ask that she at least leave a few leaves on a “momma” plant so we could still see what it was! If you have ever bought a MBG propagated plant over the past years, then it was sure to have Elizabeth’s hand in its production!
In her own words from a newspaper article in 2003, “We do cuttings and then look at them later to see if they lived” – no doubt said with her playful smile and a twinkle in her eyes! Thousands lived – a fitting legacy of flowers!
For the past year or so when she has been unable to come to help we have missed her wonderful wry sense of humor! We will always remember her funny stories, her reflections on life, her festive Christmas sweaters, and her work and dedication to the MBG greenhouse.
Elizabeth always sat in the same place near the main door to the greenhouse – if she was away for some reason, others were allowed to sit there, with the words “You can be Elizabeth today”. Over the past year since she was unable to come to help, that chair has usually been empty. It will always be Elizabeth’s place, but if you come to help and hear those words, please be aware that although you may work in that spot, you will never be able to replace her!
Elizabeth’s family have asked that memorials be given to the Mobile Botanical Gardens in lieu of flowers. We are honored to have the privilege of honoring her life and longtime help at the Greenhouse.
– from Liz Duthie on behalf of the Greenhouse Crew.