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




 

Rosemary - The Snob In Our Garden
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Astrantia maxima


Rosemary paid Rebecca today to remove the spent flowers from some of our rhododendrons. It dawned on me that all the rhododendrons in our garden have bloomed and I did not take pictures of any of them. I will have to wait for another year for the chance.

It seems that a garden, with a few exceptions is a fish story. Any wonderful rose today is still the smaller fish that got away yesterday.


Astrantia maxima

In spite of such conflict there is some harmony in our garden. When we started in the late 80s, Rosemary had her garden and I had mine. She had her plants and I had my plants. “Alex, why are you planting hostas in my perennial bed? You have a whole hosta bed there.” Or I might have said to her, “You should take care of the plants in your bed. They need watering. I am not going to water them for you.” Slowly we came to realize that the whole garden was ours. We started mixing our plants and worked jointly. In some cases Rosemary even asked,” I have an empty spot here. Do you have a hosta we could plunk there?”


Clematis 'Duchess of Edinburgh'

Rosemary did develop a curious habit of losing interest in plants that I became interested in. She was first with roses. Once I became crazy about them she lost interest. When I started buying hardy geraniums she was no longer so excited about them.


Aquilegia

At this stage of our garden, which is 26 years old harmony does reign even though we sometimes sit on a sunny corner with our cats and look at some of the very large trees, and the unwanted shade that they produce, that we planted that seemed so small then. Some plants look tired but our affection for them keeps us from turfing them. Plants can be like old books.


Clematis 'Duchess of Edinburgh'

Then there are plants that I have forgotten about that suddenly I remember and when I go and look for them they are gone. Such was the case, just a week ago of Hosta ‘Reversed’. I always pointed this hosta out to visitors as my dyslexic hosta. “I am a dyslexic, you know.” I remembered the plant in the middle of the night. It became a nightmare as searched through the garden in my dream.

While harmony does prevail Rosemary and I still have our differences. Her interest in roses is not as keen as mine even though she is aware that the colour in our garden now (with all those rhododendrons gone) is being provided by the roses. And come late August, many of my hostas look quite pristine while her perennials are tired.


The biggest difference between us is Rosemary’s uncanny ability to know what a good (and fashionable) plant is. A good plant seems to be some sort of Man Booker type plant. It wins prizes but nobody (at least not me!) reads it. A good plant has to have and undefinable and esoteric beauty. Consider Rosemary’s fave of fave plant. This is the Astrantia maxima. I have scanned the flower here and its back. It has no scent. This lack of scent is a major improvement over her other favourite plant, Astrantia major subs. involucrata ‘Shaggy’. Shaggy smells like the armpits of Mexicans riding a second class bus, a particular one called Circuito Hospitales Cuarteles Tlalnepantla y Anexas.

For today’s blog I will not write about my beautifully scented roses or my upright, pristine green, blue and variegated hostas. I made it a point to scan three of Rosemary’s plants and perhaps those reading here will comprehend my wife’s fine taste for fine plants. I must admit that in spite of everything Clematis 'Duchess of Edinburgh' has a lovely flower.  I dislike most clematis as few have scent and many are lurid in colour. To top that they have pruning schedules that rival integral calculus in complexity.

Rosemary and I often wonder what our gardener parents would say about our garden. I know for sure that my mother would love the garden. But I also know that my grandmother Lolita would grin broadly as I do every time I piss in our guest bathroom. On the wall there are three of her pastels which she did sometime around 1900 when she was 15. They are garden and flower scenes. The one here is of some sort of poppy.



     

Previous Posts
Sobacos & Escrotos

Ghosts In My Memory's Imagination

A Measure Of A Man Lapsed - Part II

El Abanico - Folded & Opened Again

Bard's Macbeth, A Damn Good Fight

Una Rosa Y Milton

Roofers & Printers Shared A Penchant For Drink

Niña Frida

A Solitude of Solitudes

Havisham - Give Me A Male Corpse



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6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17