Gertrude Trumps EglantineSaturday, June 06, 2009
What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.
Because I am leaving for Austin, Texas soon for my St. Ed’s High School reunion I am preparing Rebecca for our lecture/presentation at the Vancouver World Rose Festival from June 19 to June 21. Our presentation is called A Rose Through a Child’s Eyes. Today we looked at 30 more roses in the garden. In her neat handwriting Rebecca wrote their names and other salient facts like colour and scent. She had never heard of Hybrid Perpetual Roses which were introduced in mid 19th century. They were certainly not in bloom perpetually but were remontant.
There were two roses that attracted Rebecca today and both are English Roses. The top one is called Rosa ‘Eglantine’ and the bottom one is Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ She already knows a few things about Miss Jekyll (rhymes with treacle). Rebecca would tell you that this plain-looking 19th century English woman was an expert gardener who stated that the whitest white in a garden was the rugosa rose, ‘Blanc double de Coubert’. Both Rebecca and I have that rose but Rebecca’s has yet to bloom as it is brand new since I bought it for her at the VanDusen plant sale this year.
Rebecca had protested when I had told her to turn on the TV. Once she was outside writing down the rose facts she began to jump from Eglantine to Gertrude Jekyll trying to figure out which of the two she liked best. While I think both smell the same even though Gertrude is stronger, Rebecca did discern some differences. She also liked Gertrude’s larger size.
After our home-made pizza dinner Rebecca took Lauren and her mother Hilary to the garden for a tour of the garden roses. I stayed inside and watched proudly from the living room window as Rebecca explained. I had asked Rebecca earlier if she was not going to freeze in front of the many people who would listen to her at the festival. “Not a chance!” she asserted.