Debra Prinzing

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It’s all good: Rembering Linda Plato

Monday, July 7th, 2008

I think many of us have experienced that frequent voice whispering in our ear, offering words of wisdom, advice, encouragement and humor — just when we need them. For me, and for many of her beloved friends, that voice belongs to Linda Plato. “It’s all good,” was one of her favorite sayings. Or, her shorthand version of that phrase: “Good times.”

Garden designer, horticulturist, Anglophile, educator, editor, writer and friend, Linda and her bon mots live in our memories and our hearts. Long before cancer took her young life on December 4, 2005 (at the age of 37), Linda’s witticisms and wry look at the world were a source of humor and happiness to me.

She wrote some of her funniest pieces anonymously as the Garden Curmudgeon for “Garden Notes,” the Northwest Horticultural Society’s quarterly newsletter, for which I was editor. Linda later followed me as editor and continued as the GC, often quoting the OGC (the Original Garden Curmudgeon). It took some people years to figure out that she was GC and her dearest friend Greg Graves was the OGC. The columns are collected on the NHS web site.

I’ve been thinking lately that I wanted to write a “Linda’s on my Mind” piece. And over the July 4th weekend, her husband Bruce Forstall sent me a good reason to. Bruce and several family members and friends have sponsored a memorial park bench to commemorate dear Linda. Located in Kirkland, Wash., not too far from Linda’s former design studio, the classy bench will provide respite and peace to many. The logo on the plaque, a container with a triple-ball topiary, is the one Linda designed for her business cards. Her saying,  “It’s All Good,” also appears. (Photos here: courtesy of Bruce Forstall).