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Author Topic: Tragedy strikes IRG Team  (Read 8879 times)

sippa

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2010, 03:53:22 PM »

What bad news indeed.  I had the pleasure of meeting Joyce a few times, what a spirited and talented woman she was.  My sincere condolences to ZZ and to her family.

Marianne Kuchel
Fairlee, VT
Marianne gardening in Vermont, USA

Katherine J

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 07:51:20 AM »
I had not met her personally, yet I think we have lost a world with her. It is a shock for me to hear this, I'm terribly sorry.
Kata Jozsa - Budapest, Hungary
Zone 6

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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2010, 12:37:01 PM »
The October issue of International Rock Gardener, which will be posted online on 29th October will be dedicated to Joyce.
It is my privilege to  post here some memories of Joyce by various frinds of hers and of ZZ.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 02:23:36 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2010, 12:39:28 PM »
Memories of a Dear Friend
249699-0
 by Diane Whitehead

"The first word that pops up when I think of Joyce is "choice".  It was a word  she used often, and she also constantly made choices - she was 
not a person who drifted through life.
 
She maintained a set of standards at variance with popular culture in 
1960s British Columbia.  My polyanthus were bright Pacific Giants, but 
hers were small, pale, named, and thrums of course. Her bonsai were 
the tiny Mame that required constant care.  She haunted thrift stores 
and auctions - her spoons were Georgian,  her furniture antique, her 
carpets hand-knotted.  I machine-sewed quilts from polyester scraps, 
but Joyce hand-stitched patches of antique silk around pieces of 
notepaper.

She gleaned fruit and nuts from park trees, carrying on what her 
mother in Wales had taught her four daughters during the war.  I was 
startled to see a pheasant hanging in the basement, attaining a 
suitable degree of maturity.  She dispatched my excess roosters right 
away, but decided to fatten up one of my young goats for a while.  The 
neighbourhood children named him William, and picketed with pleading 
signs when Joyce decided his time had come.  She capitulated and drove 
him to a farm in Sooke to live out his days.

Joyce lived in areas of Victoria that had been settled first.  I 
couldn't understand anyone choosing to live in an old area, but she 
explained that she and the children were within walking distance of 
the beach, the park, and downtown, while I had to walk an hour to the 
closest bus.  She befriended elderly neighbours, and distributed   
plants they gave her.  Patches of her vigorous Galanthus woronowii 
bloom for me every January.  She believed that every garden has weeds, 
so one should make sure they are good ones.  The weed she chose for me 
was a white mallow, which surprisingly has not spread as much as the 
snowdrop.

Joyce enjoyed natural areas.  Sometimes she would move the family to a 
campsite for the summer and rent out her house to teachers attending 
summer school.  It meant she'd need to drive back weekly to water 
those bonsai and auriculas.

One year she planned a trip to Forbidden Plateau.  She assured me we'd 
be able to rent packhorses so I made up the bedrolls with that in 
mind.  When I arrived, there were no horses, and Joyce and her three 
children had gone on ahead.  I tied the supplies around me and my 
three year old and we trudged up the mountain, looking for the 
Carruthers.  We slept on bare rock and searched again for Joyce the 
next day.  We got snippets of information from other hikers - Joyce's 
tent had been flooded and they were on their way home. Fortunately, 
subsequent trips there were much more pleasant.

The family sold their house and Lester rented a room while he finished 
his teaching contract.  Joyce and the children moved to Wales.  It was 
no longer  the country of her childhood, though. It was a time of 
Celtic fervour, and rather than change languages, they were all back 
in Victoria by the summer.

It was good to have them back.  They bought an old farmhouse which 
they began remodelling.  There was a big rock garden under an apple 
tree, and chickens in the far corner.  Everyone dropped in for tea, 
and every afternoon was a gardening seminar.  Lester's North England 
family had been hotel keepers, so he was quite used to having a 
kitchen full of people when he got home from work.

After Lester died, Joyce began working.  She did not much enjoy her 
stint at a golf course - she expected protective clothing and a shower 
after spraying toxic chemicals, but the male gardeners laughed at 
her.  Being a caregiver to a longtime rock gardener was much more to 
her liking, and she was able to work in the seaside garden as well as 
care for the invalid.

Joyce sat in a lucky seat when she and a daughter flew to the U.K., 
and she was given a pass to go anywhere the airline went.  I can't 
remember whether she decided on the Czech Republic before we went to 
the 1992 Western Winter Study Weekend, ‘From the Carpathians to the 
Caucasus’, in Oregon.  However, after hearing the talks by Josef Halda, 
Fritz Kummert and Zdenek Zvolanek, she chatted with them and came back 
all excited to tell me she had been invited to join a seed collecting 
trip to Turkey.

The rest is well-known.

Joyce was the most vivid person I have met."

DW
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2010, 12:42:05 PM »
A picture of a fine patch of Cowichan Primulas in Joyce's garden, taken on 2008 by Maedythe Martin
249700-0


Joyce at Stonecrop Gardens in 2008

249702-1
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 05:14:54 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2010, 12:44:36 PM »
An extract from a letter giving Robert Rolfe’s reaction to the loss of Joyce:
249737-0
 

" I was very, very sorry indeed to hear the tragic news about Joyce. The consolation is that Joyce lived such a fulfilled, travelled life, and did so much with it. I have fond recollections of her dashing around and mollycoddling 'demanding' delegates at the Prague Conference three years ago, the success of which was so much down to the sheer hard work of ZZ and Joyce.  Whether on field trips, creating their Prague garden, or organising events such as the above, they made an admirable team. It's a sympathetic matching of complementary abilities that is the hallmark of every successful pairing.
I remember, as it was yesterday, the first time we met - Joyce was a whirl of activity, with all sorts of plans in mind: a determined but very considerate woman, whom I was proud to call a friend. Whenever we met Joyce was unfailingly kind to me, and in particular encouraged me to inflict my gabbled, garrulous lectures on audiences far and wide; wildly over-emphasising my skills in this area, but as usual she was just being loyal and kindly.
Joyce would have loved a day like today - the sun is shining brightly, the autumn crocuses are putting on a lovely display, and the trees, whose leaves are just starting to turn colour, are vibrant, shimmering in the soft, flooding light. I was greatly looking forward to the prospect of meeting up again with Joyce next April at the International Conference. Well, as with Jim Archibald, that is not to be, but what is true of him is also true of Joyce: all my memories of her are happy ones."
 
RR
Nottingham,
UK.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 01:35:52 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2010, 12:46:56 PM »
Some photos of Joyce working on various crevice gardens.... perhaps this is how most people picture her!


249716-0

249718-1

249720-2

« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 12:54:36 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2010, 12:56:37 PM »
This memory is from Rex Murfitt
249724-0

"Mrs Joyce Carruthers


The recent tragic loss of Joyce Carruthers has caused a lot of
sadness among members of the Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society.
When I decided to sit down and write a few reminiscences about Joyce
I realized that in recent years there has already been a fair amount
written about her and ZZ but very little of her early years.

When Joyce and Zdenek first become partners their exploits took the
rock gardening community by storm.  First by the accounts of their
plant hunting journeys, seed collecting trips and then illustrated
lectures about their finds in such countries as Turkey, Macedonia,
Albania and Greece prior to starting extensive trips in North America.

Eventually their mutual interests focused on the Czech national love
of crevice rock gardens and together they built and planted quite a
number of them, including several very major projects.  They published a book together on the topic in 2007 and several major articles for journals.


Joyce was born a proud Welsh woman who earned a British science
degree.  She was a teacher and a professional gardener.  Along with
all her other activities she managed to keep house, and raise and
educate a family.

I was told by colleagues in the Vancouver Island Rock & Alpine Garden
Society she was always a keen and a skilled gardener. In fact, I was
told she was raised by a primula hybridizer, her father.

I did a little checking within my own scant records and found that
she and I attended rock garden club meetings in Victoria many years
ago. Her early interest and skills in the cultivation of alpines and
primulas equipped her to become a professional gardener in a town
particularly well endowed with old families with great gardens often
with fine alpine plant collections.  The owners of these gardens, due
to advancing years, were often in need of the skilled help of a
specialized professional.

As I think back I realize her working as a woman gardener in those
years required more than a little courage as women gardeners were not
accepted as naturally as they are today. It was not always easy for
her: I knew personally of one parks system where the gardeners were
not particularly nice to her Such behavior would not fly
today.  Never the less she survived and moved on to manage the
gardens of a large golf course.

Despite the passage of time and her many varied travels, occupations
and life's experiences her garden was always maintained and to this
day contains many choice and classic plants.  During September Adrian
Young and Yihreng Young and I visited Joyce and ZZ in her garden: it
is not far from my house. We enjoyed her older rock garden plantings
where she still retained a good collection of classical European
alpines.  The crevice gardens were particularly outstanding.  Adrian
was happy to see a good representation of saxifrages, but then he
would !  The daphnes and primulas were not overlooked either.

Once again, checking with her friends I was reminded of Joyce's long
interest in primulas, and the fact that she still has a thriving
clump of the original Cowichan Polyanthus which originated on
Vancouver Island.

I, as with other VIRAGS Members, am deeply affected by Joyce's
passing and all of us send Zdenek our deepest sympathy and whenever
he feels able we will welcome a call from him."


Rex Murfitt
Victoria
British Columbia, Canada
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 12:58:08 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2010, 01:12:12 PM »
Joyce wrote the greater part of the October issue of IRG and we are  pleased to say that we have a conribution from her for the November issue as well.

Joyce was a great supporter of the IRG, recognising its value in bringing together the lovers of alpine plants and wildflowers from around the world and in showing a wider audience the beauty of such plants and their habitats.

In the announcement of Joyce's passing  -
http://www.legacy.com/can-victoria/Obituaries.asp?page=lifestopersonid=145730387
 - it was suggested  "in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice."

We are proud to say that donations to the IRG have been received  in memory of Joyce. The profound thanks both of the IRG Team and the SRGC President go to these generous donors; these monies will be used for the furtherment of the IRG.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2010, 01:41:36 PM »
The IRG Team is grateful to Diane and Rex for their memories of Joyce, which we felt we should  post here in their entirety.
 
Kind thanks to ZZ for his permission to post the extract from Robert's letter to him.

There are many references to Joyce's generosity of spirit  and to her skills as a hostess, her wonderful meals being remembered fondly by all who were lucky enough to enjoy them..... here is a photo of Joyce at Karlick engaged in more mundane activities..... "preparing for visitors" ......

249738-0
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Ragged Robin

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2010, 08:25:45 AM »
These treasured memories, words and images give a real personal insight into the spirit of Joyce and the way she embraced life. In all that is here I have so much admiration and feel the loss although I never knew her - I wish I had.
Valais, Switzerland - 1,200 metres - Continental climate - rocks and moraine

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2010, 11:26:29 AM »
Oh my Got… I’ve just red… I met Joyce only once. Remember her like a woman full of life and energy. So big irreplaceable loss…

My sincere condolences to ZZ and to her family. I am crying with them.
Olga Bondareva, Moscow, Zone 3

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2010, 07:43:45 PM »
It has been a pleasure to read here, and in the last issue, the warm and detailed tributes to and remembrances of Joyce Carruthers and Jim Archibald (and others, on other occasions).
Although I have met neither of them, the thoughtful memorials of those who knew them well have given me a chance to celebrate and be inspired by lives lived fully and richly, as gardeners and as very human beings!

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2010, 08:41:08 PM »
This evening, rather earlier then expected, as was the case with the loss of Joyce, I have loaded the new issue of IRG to the website.
We hope you all enjoy it. 
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Re: Tragedy strikes IRG Team
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2011, 01:57:25 PM »
Memories of a Dear Friend
(Attachment Link)
 by Diane Whitehead

"The first word that pops up when I think of Joyce is "choice".  It was a word  she used often, and she also constantly made choices - she was 
not a person who drifted through life.
 
She maintained a set of standards at variance with popular culture in 
1960s British Columbia.  My polyanthus were bright Pacific Giants, but 
hers were small, pale, named, and thrums of course. Her bonsai were 
the tiny Mame that required constant care.  She haunted thrift stores 
and auctions - her spoons were Georgian,  her furniture antique, her 
carpets hand-knotted.  I machine-sewed quilts from polyester scraps, 
but Joyce hand-stitched patches of antique silk around pieces of 
notepaper.

She gleaned fruit and nuts from park trees, carrying on what her 
mother in Wales had taught her four daughters during the war.  I was 
startled to see a pheasant hanging in the basement, attaining a 
suitable degree of maturity.  She dispatched my excess roosters right 
away, but decided to fatten up one of my young goats for a while.  The 
neighbourhood children named him William, and picketed with pleading 
signs when Joyce decided his time had come.  She capitulated and drove 
him to a farm in Sooke to live out his days.

Joyce lived in areas of Victoria that had been settled first.  I 
couldn't understand anyone choosing to live in an old area, but she 
explained that she and the children were within walking distance of 
the beach, the park, and downtown, while I had to walk an hour to the 
closest bus.  She befriended elderly neighbours, and distributed   
plants they gave her.  Patches of her vigorous Galanthus woronowii 
bloom for me every January.  She believed that every garden has weeds, 
so one should make sure they are good ones.  The weed she chose for me 
was a white mallow, which surprisingly has not spread as much as the 
snowdrop.

Joyce enjoyed natural areas.  Sometimes she would move the family to a 
campsite for the summer and rent out her house to teachers attending 
summer school.  It meant she'd need to drive back weekly to water 
those bonsai and auriculas.

One year she planned a trip to Forbidden Plateau.  She assured me we'd 
be able to rent packhorses so I made up the bedrolls with that in 
mind.  When I arrived, there were no horses, and Joyce and her three 
children had gone on ahead.  I tied the supplies around me and my 
three year old and we trudged up the mountain, looking for the 
Carruthers.  We slept on bare rock and searched again for Joyce the 
next day.  We got snippets of information from other hikers - Joyce's 
tent had been flooded and they were on their way home. Fortunately, 
subsequent trips there were much more pleasant.

The family sold their house and Lester rented a room while he finished 
his teaching contract.  Joyce and the children moved to Wales.  It was 
no longer  the country of her childhood, though. It was a time of 
Celtic fervour, and rather than change languages, they were all back 
in Victoria by the summer.

It was good to have them back.  They bought an old farmhouse which 
they began remodelling.  There was a big rock garden under an apple 
tree, and chickens in the far corner.  Everyone dropped in for tea, 
and every afternoon was a gardening seminar.  Lester's North England 
family had been hotel keepers, so he was quite used to having a 
kitchen full of people when he got home from work.

After Lester died, Joyce began working.  She did not much enjoy her 
stint at a golf course - she expected protective clothing and a shower 
after spraying toxic chemicals, but the male gardeners laughed at 
her.  Being a caregiver to a longtime rock gardener was much more to 
her liking, and she was able to work in the seaside garden as well as 
care for the invalid.

Joyce sat in a lucky seat when she and a daughter flew to the U.K., 
and she was given a pass to go anywhere the airline went.  I can't 
remember whether she decided on the Czech Republic before we went to 
the 1992 Western Winter Study Weekend, ‘From the Carpathians to the 
Caucasus’, in Oregon.  However, after hearing the talks by Josef Halda, 
Fritz Kummert and Zdenek Zvolanek, she chatted with them and came back 
all excited to tell me she had been invited to join a seed collecting 
trip to Turkey.

The rest is well-known.

Joyce was the most vivid person I have met."

DW
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


I am speechless!  It is so pity, I haven't met Joyce before.

Even thought, she is gone, Her plants will go on, to please everyone looking at them.

She left a wonderful memory and willing not to surrender and to be curious and generous in knowledge. She was a people person.

RIP Joyce! I hope there are plenty of Mountains to explore, in a place you are now.

Life is beautiful no matter what!

Nova Scotia Canada

 


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