Rosemary, Kebek & Centaurea cyanusTuesday, June 14, 2016
|Centaurea cyanus - June 14 2016|
My wife Rosemary was born in a very small town, New Dublin, Ontario that had two churches, one churchyard and not much else, but a nearby farm had horses. As soon as she was able she left town with a scholarship for Queens and never returned. We met in 1968 in Mexico City when she was 23. I was attracted to her blonde hair and her beautiful and long legs. Little was I to know then that I had married a snob.
It may have begun when she told me to pronounce Quebec as Kebek.
Since 1968 I have realized that I married someone with extremely good taste and that some might consider her to be uppity. That is not really the case as she is fundamentally very shy.
She became a full blown snob when we moved to our large corner garden house on Athlone Street in 1986. She joined the finest garden clubs in town and developed a taste for botanical Latin (and Greek). She has this special talent of being able to recognize a plant this year that will be in high demand the next.
For many years she banished orange, yellow and red from our garden. For any plant to be worthwhile it had to have blue or white flowers.
As soon as I showed interest in roses (she lost interest) and transferred her loyalty to hardy geraniums, the ones with blue flowers.
Then one day we saw a rose at Janet Wood’s (former head of the Vancouver Rose Society) called Rosa ‘Mrs Oakley Fisher’. It was not a hybrid tea (Rosemary sees these as low brow roses, and so do I!). This single (five petals) yellow rose was a Tea Rose therefore Kosher in our garden. So yellow entered our garden.
Then Brad Jalbert of Select Roses in Langley recommended (after ranting and raving) Rosa ‘Westerland’. It is a modern shrub rose that is orange and it has the scent (to my nose) of synthetic apricot jam. Orange entered our garden as well as many deep red roses. But blue is paramount.
Today I noticed this intense blue bachelor’s button (Centaurea cyanus). It is an annual. Perennials are okay with Rosemary and annuals are usually not. But when they happen to have blue flowers…