Marina loved the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. It was the first place she took me when I visited her in British Columbia. And when I learned that she was gone, it immediately occurred to me that I would propose a donation to the Butchart Gardens of Marina’s plant collection as a memorial to her name.
The idea wasn’t original, but it was excellent. I’ve since learned that Grace Rollerson, a former colleague of Marina’s when the early Amateurs’ Digest was called Cacti & Other Succulents, has a memorial garden at the University of British Columbia. Grace’s plants were donated to tne UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, and the collection bears her name: “The Grace Rollerson Sempervivum Collection”. Photos of the Rollerson collection are on Flickr.
Paul Brunelle was another of Marina’s colleagues. With some 327 species and over 1200 plants, he “established a cactus collection that would have no equal in the Atlantic region”, the “Dalhousie Collection of Cacti and other Succulents“. In 1998, Paul donated his entire plant collection and library to Dalhousie University, which commemorates Brunelle with a website devoted to his Notes, his plant photos and his life’s work. Some of Paul’s photos appeared in Marina’s publications. This is one of them:
Marina had over 200 species in her own collection in April of 1989 when she began to publish her famous Newsletter. 28 years later, with the addition of a greenhouse on the back of the home, and another on the grounds, how many species could we have counted in Marina’s collection? Only those who stole the plants know.
Were it not for the theft of the contents of Marina’s two greenhouses by the British Columbia Public Guardian and Trustee, Marina could have been permanently remembered with a public garden in her name.
I’ve opened a Gallery page to collect photos of Marina’s stolen plants, which I’m finding in both the Wayback Machine, and the PDF issues of The Amateurs’ Digest kindly donated by Chuck Staples and William Wilk of the CSSA. It’s called “Plantae Furtivae“, Latin for “Stolen Plants”.
Everyone knows the expression, “The gift that keeps on giving.” The disappearance of Marina’s plants in the hands of the BC Public Trustee is “the theft that keeps on taking”.