The garden world lost a shining star and Old House Gardens lost a loyal friend July 29 when acclaimed garden designer Ryan Gainey died in a fire at his home in Georgia while trying to rescue his three beloved Jack Russell terriers.
Ryan had been ordering from us since 2005, and every now and then he’d call with a question, tip, or just to chat about some interesting old bulb he’d found or whatnot.
He was a big fan of gladiolus and couldn’t care less that they were long out of fashion. As an artist he had his own highly personal and creative vision, and – happily for us – glads were a part of it, along with Roman hyacinths and many other heirlooms. (For a glimpse of Ryan’s garden style, see the 1993 book The Well-Placed Weed.)
At his website, Ryan is described as “internationally-known, madly passionate, stimulating, thought-provoking, exuberant, creative, romantic, whimsical, and embracing” – but just as importantly, I’d say, he was curious, generous and gentle. And I wasn’t at all surprised that he died trying to save his pups, Jelly Bean, Leo, and Baby Ruth.
May he rest in peace, and garden forever.