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Carman’s Nursery

Articles: Carman’s Nursery

Marshall Olbrich sent this article to Pacific Horticulture about two weeks before his sudden death in July. In the accompanying letter he said of Ed Carman: “He is a connoisseur’s nurseryman. He is the one who has the blue ginger or Russellia equisetiformis when you can’t find it.”
A few years ago, writing an obituary for plantswoman Nova Leach of Stockton, I used with full feeling the expression “a saint of horticulture.” This is not a phrase lightly used, and it came to me first, and surely to others, in reflecting on those arch saints of horticulture, Ray and Rose Williams of Watsonville. To be a saint one properly should have passed to one’s reward and have one’s miracles attested. Also, though one is allowed, in Baron von Hugel’s phrase, minor sins of accident and surprise, one must have a single-minded devotion to plants. With Ray Williams the miracle is there to see: his last great work, the grounds of Gavilan College in Gilroy, which surely will be recognized as the most important pioneer dry garden in California (I can use that absurd neologism “xerophytic” no more than I can use the redundant “plant material”). Beatification can happen only to those who, in St Cyril’s ph...


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