I was responding to comments on IAVOM last Monday when an email popped into my inbox, alerting me to a new post on Dig With Dorris; entitled ‘In Memory of Rebecca Barker’, fear gripped my heart, as without reading further I knew what this meant. Sadly, blogging friend Rebecca, known to us as Dorris, had passed away at home before Christmas.
I have known Dorris through our blogs since early 2014 shortly, I think, after she began blogging, and have not only exchanged many comments and ripostes since then, but personal emails too, and was fortunate to meet her twice, once at halfway meeting point Broughton Grange Gardens to pass on plant material, but also at her own home when we supported her in opening her garden for the NGS. The friendship may have developed through our blogs and a shared love of plants and gardening, but I like to think it was as genuine a friendship as any developed wholly in person, and her death has left a Dorris-shaped void that is hard to take in.
Like all garden bloggers she was generous in sharing comments, knowledge and plant material, but was humble about her own achievements, the depth and extent of her experience only coming to light in her family’s own tribute. Such sad news, and I am grateful to her family for informing us of her death; they knew just how much the blog meant to her and it was a thoughtful gesture to inform us of her passing.
I know there will be many in our community who feel the same way, and it seemed wrong not to mark the occasion and present a small tribute to Dorris, recognising the shock and loss that we share. Dorris often contributed to IAVOM herself, and ideally this tribute would have been a vase crammed with the brightest of dahlias or the very best of summer annuals, reflecting her love of plants. However, it is mid-January and we have instead the simplest of vases: three white hellebore blooms (Harvington Double White) floating in a Caithness Glass bonbon dish, accompanied by a candle to remind us that our memories will still burn brightly, and a sprig of rosemary, also for remembrance. Farewell, dear Dorris.
If you are able to find material from your garden or foraged nearby to pop in a vase or jamjar and would like to share it with us, as a tribute of your own or ‘just because’, then please leave the usual links.