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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Sad Ending.

I took a little trip last weekend to visit my parents. They live in a small town in Alberta. Not more than a few blocks from their cute little house is an old greenhouse. It has been there at least 35 years.
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This greenhouse was the labor of love for a lady named June Leece. She worked her little fingers to the bone to create, run, and maintain this place. She lived in a little house right next door. I can imagine how much she must have enjoyed it! What I would not give for a double dome greenhouse this size!
One lonely day several years ago, June went to her greenhouse to do her gardening, and had a massive heart attack. She passed away amongst the plants in her greenhouse.
Her children, having no interest in the greenhouse business, returned to this place only long enough to close it down, and it sits abandoned since. It was for sale for a while, but no one wanted to venture into the greenhouse business.
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I remember as a teenager, driving past and thinking that this place looked so inviting to me…never knowing that I one day would long to have a place like it. A couple of years ago, I once again was drawn to this place. I was distressed at how run down it looked…and almost angry that anyone would let it go so far down hill. It has been on my mind off and on ever since…and I have been just dying to go inside and look around.
One day last summer I decided to take a little venture across the alley to peek inside. I bugged my Dad to find out who the current owner is, so that I could have permission to enter. It appears that someone has been slowly tearing down the back offices and out-buildings…and I just wanted a little look before it was gone forever.
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Wainwright Alberta is a small town, and it wasn’t hard for my Dad to track down the owner of this place. He got permission not only for me to go inside…but to take whatever I wanted from the greenhouse, yard, anything!
I was so excited…that I drove like a maniac to get there…and could hardly wait to get my chance to go inside. I remembered what I had seen through the windows last summer, and was interested in getting an up close look at the behind the scenes view of a real commercial greenhouse. I have been in many a greenhouse… but never been one on one like I was this weekend. I never expected it to affect me quite the way it did either.
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The next day came, and I was ready to go! I got all ready, grabbed Grammie and away we went…my son in tow. The snow was deep…(and Grammies legs are short) so we went to the front doors only to see that the second of the two domes was starting to fall…
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It just looks so darned sad! I get a lump in my throat just looking at it!
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This is the side view of the first of the two domes. This is the one we went into first.
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It is all cleaned out…except for a little garbage…a lot of wool blankets, and some junk. All that is left of the actual business in this dome was the staging, the heating/water pipes…and the heater.
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Lots of gunk and mildew on the roof…
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I walked around in here and found myself imagining it all filled with plants…the smells and the blooms…the peaceful sound/feeling…
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Do you see that first post? ya…well it appears that it is all that is holding up the entire structure anymore. It really doesn’t seem to be in a very steadfast position now does it? one false move….and we are in big trouble!!! We better not bump that post!
I walked around looking at everything…hoping to maybe gain some ideas or insight into how I might make my greenhouse a little better or more efficient…after all…this was once a thriving business…there had to be some good mechanics here to make it worthwhile…right? Well…there wasn’t much left for me to learn from…so I just snooped around, and let my imagination go.
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These were stacked so neatly…I just had to look inside…
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They were filled to the brims with plant tags! Hundreds of different colors and varieties!
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Amongst all the dirty, moldy wood….was a shelf…amazingly clean, displaying this brand. It struck me how much thought someone put into each and every thing in this place at one time. I wonder if that company is still in existence?
There was a kitchen area in the back…sink, cupboards etc…plastic flowers, and vases on the counter…more plant tags…and a few little Christmas ornaments, and nic-nacs. I decided to move over to the other side…where I had seen a bunch of other things last summer that I was interested in learning about…But…
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…when I got to the second greenhouse…I was greeted with this sight. I nearly burst into tears.
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Remember when we got there and the front part of the wall was leaning in…well it was because the roof has caved in under the weight of the snow this winter.
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See those 2x4’s sticking straight out? they were the support braces …ya…when I was here last, this part was still standing and it had pots and trays, and other garden paraphernalia…it’s all buried now!
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Even seeing it now, makes my heart sink!
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I wanted to try to go in…but Grammie was having no part of it…and since she IS my mom…I suppose I had to listen…(but only because my son was there…otherwise I would have tried to see more…)
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I wonder if it was loud when it fell in…I am standing in the old boiler room…this is the roof that collapsed!
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Disappointed that I could go no further…I decided to walk out back.
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There is a vintage chrome table and chairs there in the yard…they are miraculously would have loved to have them…but they are frozen to the ground…so maybe after the spring melt…when I come back to get…
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These wonderful old windows…(which are also frozen into the ground…and surrounded by two feet of snow!) I think the chair can stay here…hahaha Grampie might be nice and pick them up for me some time. After all they do live right close by!
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As we left the greenhouses…I had to turn back several times…I don’t know why I felt so sad about this place. I didn’t know that lady…and yes I love my greenhouse…but still it just affected me. Maybe it is the way her dream ended…with her tragic death that tugged on my heart.
So….what WAS supposed to be a silly post filled with junkin’ fun in an old abandoned greenhouse…was more like a sad goodbye to a dream. Learning about this lady, also got me to thinking about other things…which is another post all in itself.
Fertilizer Friday is just around the clock a ways…are you ready to link up and flaunt with me? I can’t wait to be inspired by you!!
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Until next time!!! Happy Gardening!

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26 comments:

Shirl said...

Such a sad story. Much sadder by the fact that her children didn't carry on her dream.

Popping by from the Midweek Mingle and following ... :0)

Darla said...

Please tell us that your got the bread boxes with the plant tags in them. Somehere she is smiling at the fact that you care and will use any of her left over items that you find!

Sue said...

It's always sad to see someone's piece of paradise crumble like that. How sad. On a weird note though--she did die doing what she loved. So sad that the family didn't want to carry on with it though.

Lori E said...

So sad to see what was one person's dream disappear along with them. Like our blogs. If we don't tend to them and keep them going they will wither on the vines and die off.

p3chandan said...

Its indeed a sad end to a once lovely dream of a little lady! I bet she was very happy in her greenhouses back then.

Netty said...

I love to explore forgotten places too, and I feel the same way when I find things that were once someones paradise, left to rot. Did you find anything to keep? That Lady surely will be smiling down on you ...

The Japanese Redneck said...

It is sad to see great places like that with no one interested in continuing them.

Susan said...

Tootsie, I've always told everyone I know that somewhere, and you will never know this, is someone who thinks the world of you, likes you, admires you and what you do and appreciates you. You'll never know it or probably never meet them in person, but it's true so live your life by living up to those expectations and you'll be a better person for it.
You are a shining example of what I've preached all my life. Miss June Leech left a wonderful legacy in you. She, unknowingly, nurtured your love of gardening and she lives on because you admired and appreciated what she did in life.
To me, her children let her down, but they are the ones who should be sad, not you. You have kept her dream going and trust me, you will be better for it.
Hugs,
Susan

Becca's Dirt said...

Too bad that the kids didn't tend the property. So sad when someone puts everything into a place and no one cares after they are gone. Well I hope I die in my gardens too. Can't wait to see what goodies you have in store for those windows. Have a good day Toots.

MelissaAggie98 said...

Oh, that is a sad story...it's always disheartening to realize someone's dreams have come to an end.

Thanks so much for dropping by the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop! I'm a follower and I hope you'll stop by again soon! Have a great day! :)

classic • casual • home said...

Great tour, but I was getting a little worried for your safety too!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

It just breaks your heart doesn't it. It is a shame some one did not buy it and keep it up. I hope you salvage the windows and find some things to take home from there.Then you can preform your magic on them.

RainGardener said...

What a sad story - I was close to tears also. It is too bad the children had no interest but I really can understand that if you aren't interested you just aren't but I sure wish someone would have bought it and made it a happy place once again. By the way did you grab the bread boxes for planting in? I still have my old rusty one and as we speak my Hyacinths are coming up in it. And I have rusty old canisters too. I guess they all fit in with rusty OLD me.

Joani said...

That was sad. I hope that U R able 2 get the windows after the thaw. Thanks 4 sharing.

La Petite Gallery said...

I am 74 tomorrow, and let me tell you, I will not be fooled, about how much they love the house, the minute I die they will sell it for the quick cash. I am old and have seen more uglyness from grown children that I care to mention. I say leave it to the dogs..
yvonne

Dragonfly Treasure said...

It's akways so sad to see another person liveliness whither away after they are gone. My parents home has changed so much since they've passed. But what do you do. Neither my sister or I can afford to live there..ie. buy each other out. So we rent it. The pasture in front was Dad's veggie garden, he grew enough to feed my whole street and all his friends and never forgot the postman. It killed me to see my old playhouse drageed out by tractor to the trash heap.
Things change, life goes on.

I sure hope you were able to snag those bread boxes and are able to get the windows and dinette set come spring thaw. Maybe once the snow melts you'll find more goodies ;)
*hugs*deb

TanyasTreasureTrove said...

Hi! Following you from F.M.B.T!
Hope you visit me and return the
follow!:0)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

You did a wonderful job telling your story. I understand how you feel. In some ways it's sad but I think the woman that had those green houses loved every minute of her life with her plants. She was doing something I am sure she loved to do. Where ever she is I think she knows that you care. That, I think, is one of her rewards. Someone cares.
Love and hugs to you.
Mona

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

So sad that this happens, but an interesting forage for you. I also love the work you have done on the cabinet in the last post.

Willow said...

That was a sad, but beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Dirt Princess said...

It is sad.....

I see a lot of goodies in there...the bread boxes, the windows, the chairs...wow..

call me, miss you

Andrea said...

Hi Tootsie, haven't been here for a while, but this post is really contagious. I was so touched that i almost shed a tear too, i said a prayer for the old woman who shares with us our passion for plants. I really pity the result of it all, and the children maybe didn't love her that much, i am so sorry. I am with you in praying that she is happy and peaceful now, in her endless lovely garden. I have a friend who migrated to Alberta and thought of even telling her to look at this place too, haha! Cheers Tootsie.

Bonnie said...

WOW! Thanks for telling is wonderful story!

Mel Cole said...

That is too bad that her kids wont continue her business. It's a good one though. I;m sad to hear about her and the green house.

siteseer said...

dreams are still dreams and to see them come to an end is sad. We raise our children to be individuals too so it isn't often that they share our dreams. Sad.

Sassy said...

This story broke my heart......as we have just gone through several sad changes in the last few months....it has been a long time but I WAS daily follower of you...my blogging sadly went by the wayside but my friend made me promise I would blog every day this month.....so since I have I have been roaming around to my favorite old friends....you being one......I don't know what has happened in your life but it seems to me very sad...moving on to another home......giving up a beautiful old tree....etc. etc. I am sad for you.......I know how I felt and feel still giving away so much of my heart.........I liked this post and I am sad this little lady's family didn't love her place as much as she did.......