Decay, Death & BeautyFriday, April 20, 2018
|Camellia x williamsii 'Donation' May 20, 2018|
In the early 70s when we lived in the outskirts of Mexico City, both my Rosemary and I were influenced by my mother who was a snob. With glee we talked about the nouveau riche (we were nouveau, halfway between the bottom poor and the middle class). Those who lived in a new development called Tecamachalco were particularly in our laughing criticism. We laughed at how they purchased Formica tables and put glass on top to protect them. They covered their lampshades with transparent plastic and did the same with their car upholstery.
I have seen the same phenomenon with the new arrivals to Vancouver. Everything must be new, look new, have no flaws. Everything must be perfect.
I do understand. You come to a new country, a new city and you want to start anew.
It is only once you have settled down and age begins to affect your thinking that you begin to use the word patina and you suddenly become keen on antiques.
|Camellia x williamsii 'Donation' May 2 2014|
In a garden the same standards exist once you have been at it for some years. My Rosemary used to keep the edges of our flower beds (where they met) with our perfect lawn) neat with scissors. Thankfully we no longer have a lawn although I believe our cat, Casi-Casi misses rolling on it.
And so now both of us past 70 we have learned to notice and admire the decay in a garden. My hostas in the fall in some ways rival the leaves of deciduous trees. Deep red Gallica roses turn blue/purple/grey with age.
Perhaps the earliest harbinger of decay in a garden (as in now) are the flowers of camellias. When they age they look messy.
And yet. And yet. Have a look at my two scans from our Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’. There is beauty in this decay. Now if only more of us could see the beauty in old age. After all, every one of us, at that certain age are no less a classic antique 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. We have patina.