The beginning of the year

January always seems to bring a funeral. There is something about the darkest days of winter that urge death into the foreground. So this year is like every other one: optimism that it will be better than last year suffused with sadness.?

New Year?s Day which started with best party of the year at Alison Gordon?s also brought sadness: the death of an former colleague named Mary Anne Brinckman.

She and I were the co-founding editors of Toronto Life Gardens. We produced a year or more of some of the most gorgeous issues of any magazine anywhere before it morphed into Gardening Life magazine.

Mary Anne was an energetic defender of the environment and good garden design. She was a really talented garden designer and she did lovely border at the Royal Botanical Gardens which I hope is still intact.

She spent most of her time working on green projects, the last of which was the Green Living magazine. She died suddenly and it just took all the oomph out of the new year. Her death has affected a huge number of people apart from her family. They must be in terrible shock. ?We?re all going to miss her smiling face a lot.

Peace Mary Anne