A Blooming Father's Day & A Few Good MenSunday, June 19, 2011
|Top, Fair Bianca, James Mason & Hansa, bottom Jacquline du Pré & Charles de Mills|
My wife Rosemary had one of those plant “clinics” where as a master gardener she sits with a few others of her kind at a garden nursery (in this case The Shop In the Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden) and hands out botanical advice. This took her away for most of the day.
In years past I always looked forward to Father’s Day because on that day all of us (Rosemary, my daughters Ale and Hilary and my granddaughters Rebecca and Lauren plus Hilary’s in laws but not her husband who usually works on Sundays) would go to my favourite restaurant, Nando’s on 41st Avenue and East Boulevard in Kerrisdale to indulge in hot South African/Portuguese chicken. It was a special day because we were all together.
|Rosa 'Blanc Double de Coubert'|
This year Ale had a difficult weekend in Lillooet of having to finish her report cards and Hilary’s mother-in-law invited her son, wife and granddaughters plus her ex-husband, the grandfather to Father’s Day dinner at her house.
That pretty well left me alone at home where I could have felt awfully sorry for myself. But it was not to be.
I first saw that wonderful courtroom drama film Rob Reiner’s 1992 A Few Good Men (complete with ads!) with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon. The film kept me entertained and interested. Then I went to see what was flowering in the garden. As per every year, Rosa ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’ was the first rose of the season but she was closely followed by another rugosa rose, Rosa ‘Hansa’ given to me by Ale some years ago. This year she opened on the same day as Blanc ‘Double de Coubert’. Another pair of white roses, Rosa ‘Fair Bianca’ (with a fragrance that defies any other to be better, more complex or more memorable!) and Rosa ‘Jacqueline du Pré’ were close on their heels.
There were three big surprises. One was that marvelous Gallica rose, Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’ was not yet in bloom but one of the many runners (this fantastic plant spreads like no other rose!) was indeed in bloom. Two, Rosemary’s (my ever sophisticated Rosemary) favourite rose the modern Gallica, Rosa ‘James Mason’ sharing the lane garden with Charles de Mills was also out.
And lastly a mystery peony that our neighbour Barbara McGillivary grew in her back lane was in glorious bloom and with a very nice scent. Years ago when her husband Jim died she sold her house and moved out. More than a decade of renters have systematically ignored and destroyed her garden. The peonies were abandoned so I decided to save them. I re-planted them in my lane way and never bloomed until this year.
It would seem that thanks to Tom Cruise and my flowers I have had a most memorable Father’s Day in good company.