by Paul Fleischman
From the Colorado countryside to the Ohio city, Florence has had her share of experiences. This African-American lady lives by the Gibb Street garden, and now that she's retired from her job as a librarian, she makes a big effort to get outdoors. That means hanging around the community garden.
We've got two words to describe Florence's part in the garden: she's a "watcher" (13.4) and a protector. Let's check out these two roles.
(1) Because Florence has arthritis, she isn't digging into the soil anytime soon. According to Florence: "I was just a watcher, but I was proud of the garden, as if it were mine" (13.4). Our gal Florence may call herself "just a watcher," but we find out that she's actually a super attentive observer. In fact, she reminds us of another onlooker: Ana, from Chapter 2—just a little less creepy.
(2) And this brings us to Florence's second role: the protector. You see, Florence may not work in the garden, but that doesn't mean she cares any less about it. In fact, Florence tells us she feels "proud and protective" of the community garden (13.4). When a random dude tries to take one of Curtis's tomatoes, Florence gives him a piece of her mind. Nothing is getting past this woman.
What do you think of Florence's contributions to the garden? How else might she affect the garden, besides being an observer and a protector?