A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Rosemary's Centaurea
Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Rosemary's Centaurea dealbata cultivar
 
I married my Rosemary in Mexico City in 1968 and I would tell my friends that the beautiful blonde that was my wife came from a small town on Ontario called New Dublin. From what Rosemary told me I gathered the town had one church, one cemetery and no school. In some ways my mother (a snob) thought I had married a farm girl even though Rosemary knew nothing about farming. In fact she had obtained, on her own merit, a scholarship to McGill. She was a brainy but beautiful blonde who just happened to come from a very small town. I soon learned that not only was all that but she was quite a snob.


Her snobbery is plainly evident should you visit our garden. I cultivate my roses and my hostas and Rosemary does accept that particularly now the roses give lots of colour to our garden. And in late August when her perennials look tired my hostas still look bright and fresh.  For many years she did not allow yellow or orange in our garden and she always opted for blue and white. Of late she has mellowed and I have a lovely yellow single (I am a snob, too!) hybrid tea called Mrs. Oakley Fisher. Rosemary grieved when I told her that this year our orange Rosa ' Westerland' had died in early spring.



If you happen to notice details you will spot gems in Rosemary’s choices. As an example there is a plant in the front of our kitchen bed (called that because it is outside our kitchen door) that occupies lots of space. I have asked Rosemary why it is she allows this plant to grow that side. The snob that she is she says, “ I like the foliage. It is interesting.” She has two specimens. The one that gets a bit more sun has two flowers. The one that gets almost no sun has lots of flowers. I wonder if Rosemary has ever noticed the flowers of this glorified blue-blood member of the low-class bachelor’s button family. It is called a Centaurea but Rosemary does not remember its cultivar name. From what you might see here you will realize that my Rosemary might be a snob, but she also can spot a beautiful flower even if she is not willing to admit it!



     

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