I lost my dear, sweet sister-in-law unexpectedly last month. She left behind a loving husband, son, family and many friends. Lil was not just my sister-in-law, she was a sister of my heart, a friend and a gardening companion. When she and my brother and their son Abe moved from Hickory to Virginia ten years ago, it was hard to see them leave, but we saw each other several times a year and spoke often on the phone. Our talks often turned to gardening, one of her favorite topics.
Lil loved to share plants and advice and she planted what she liked; case in point, the castor beans. One day while over at her house, I pointed out a plant I was not familiar with, she informed me that it was a castor bean plant. I, in turn, informed her that the pods where extremely poisonous. She told me that she was aware of that, but she liked how the plant looked. I had to agree that it was a very pretty plant, but at the first opportunity, I advised my brother to keep up with the “honey-do” list and to pick up after himself for a while.
I plan to make a trip to Virginia soon to gather some cuttings and take some plant divisions from Lil’s garden. I will nurture these young plants so one day when Abe has his own home, I can give him some of his mother’s plants, I will also give some to her sisters and mine. Lil will be greatly missed in our family, but having some of the plants that she loved growing in our gardens would be exactly what she wanted.
Lillian Nettles Beucus
December 17- 1956 May 6, 2012