Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin' & a Priest
Saturday, August 17, 2019
|Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin' 17 August 2019|
A couple of years ago after Rosemary and I had moved from
our large Kerrisdale garden to our small deck garden in Kitsilano I had no
desire to return to see what our old house was like as I knew it had not been
torn down. The owner (hasn’t sold it yet perhaps waiting for permits to take
down the large trees) had mowed the back lane garden we had which had a few
There was one that had not done well for years. It was a
Bourbon Rose and these multipetaled roses do not do well in our rainy springs.
I left it behind. When I did return at my Rosemary’s urging I found this rose
that had survived the mowing and brought it home. I did nothing for two years.
This year and today it had a lovely blossom. What rose could it possibly be?
The dead giveaway is that it has no thorns. By process of
elimination I have now identified this wonderful survivor as the last rose
(that Z!) in any rose catalogue, Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'.
After lots of searching I have been able to locate the
Zephirine in question who seems to have been the niece of a priest. The Drouhin
family started a wine industry in Burgundy in the 1880s but I have no idea if
they are the same Drouhin as that of the rose named by French rose breeder
originated on the Île Bourbon (now called Réunion) off the coast of Madagascar
in the Indian Ocean. They are believed to be the result of a cross between the
Autumn Damask and the 'Old Blush' China rose, both of which were frequently
used as hedging materials on the island. They flower repeatedly on vigorous,
frequently semi-climbing shrubs with glossy foliage and purple-tinted canes.
They were first Introduced in France in 1820 by Henri Antoine Jacques.
Examples: 'Louise Odier', 'Mme. Pierre Oger', 'Zéphirine Drouhin' (the last
example is often classified under climbing roses).
And who was ‘Zephirine
Drouhin’? According to La Repère Horticoleof 1899, a Monsieur Pingeon,
secretary of a horticulture and viticul-ture organization in the state of Cote
d’Or, wrote that the breeder Bizot introduced the rose not in 1868, which is
the date usually given, but in 1873. Bizot had been asked by an abbot of Notre
Dame de Dijon, Father Drouhin, to name the rose for the wife of his brother who
was a well-known property owner and amateur horticulturist of Semur, a town
west of Dijon. That is as much we know.
The Gallo Chamber Players at Hodson Manor
Friday, August 16, 2019
Gallo Chamber Players·
|Jiten Beairsto, Emily Burton & Connor Page|
The Gallo Chamber Players are a newly formed
Vancouver-based ensemble of early music performers. They met and have been
training together in the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Program at the University
of British Columbia. The ensemble is formed by violinists Jiten Beairsto, Elana
Cooper and Majka Demcak, cellist Emily Burton, and harpsichordist Connor Page.
Today we had the pleasure of listening to three of the
Gallo Chamber Players, Connor Page, Emily Burton and Jiten Beairsto at special gathering at
Hodson Manor, the headquarters of Early Music Vancouver.
The reason for the concert, drinks and food was to thank
those who hosted musicians during the recent EMV Bach Festival. We hosted two
musicians so we were there, too.
|Hodson Manor 16 August 2019|
They young trio (the other two were gallivanting perhaps
in Europe) played
J.S. Bach's Sonata for
Violin and Continuo BWV 102. It was mostly soft and mellow and it didn’t quite
prepare us for the fireworks of the next work, Jean-Féry Rebel’s Sonata for
Violin No. 5. Because this French Baroque composer (18 April 1666 – 2 January
1747) was also a violinist it explained the virtuoso performance by Beairsto. I
enjoyed Connor Page’s (he of the Baroque red hair) playing as only in the last
few years have I begun to appreciate that instrument thanks to private talks
with Alexander Weimann.
And I want to leave for the end my comments on cellist
Emily Burton who brought an elegance to the trio’s performance that added to
our enjoyment. I found it interesting that after having seen quite a few baroque
cellists play with the instrument high between the legs, Burton played it
further down. It looked elegant and just right.
The trio and quintet are part of the Baroque Mentorship
Program of UBC and which EMV also contributes in funds which will result in a continuance
of first-class period instrument ensembles in our city and country.
As for why all those people who were there as host to EMV
musicians, no matter how many times we may be thanked for our efforts, the
reason we do this is because having these musicians in our homes expose us to
knowledge (I can speak for myself here) that make life all that more enjoyable
not only to the ears, and eyes but to the mind.
Randy Rampage - The Gentleman Remembered
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Yesterday I went to the Mountain View Cemetery (a second
time, see here
for a happy memorial
service for the man we called Randy Rampage.He died a year before, yesterday.
According to my Chevy thermometer it was 30 degrees. Susanne
Tabata and friends had an overhead tarp and served goodies and drinks.
There were a few people I had not seen for years and some I
did not recognize as at one time they would have been bikers inside the dark
reaches of the Drake Hotel and their Harleys would have been parked outside.
Few might know that Rampage worked as a longshoreman. Some
of his dock buddies were present all nicely dressed and I was able to talk to
them. Like Rampage’s rough appearance in his jackets and boots these guys were
no less scary if one approached them. And approached them I did.
One of the sweetest men I ever met (a heavy metal kind of
guy) Brad Kent who formed Ground Zero with Rampage is also no longer with us.
But his lovely and equally sweet daughter Jade was there.
Art Bergman and wife Sherri were present as was the man with
the beautiful hands, Jim Cummins.
Bergmann played one of his tunes, Entropy and modified the
lyrics a bit in memory of Rampage.
When I left, I realized that when I first arrived to
Vancouver in 1975 with my two daughters and Rosemary, I would have never known
that someday I would feel at home among friends in a cemetery in a bright
afternoon. I would have seen them all, at one time in the dark and loud
confines of a rock club!
|Art Bergmann with Jim Cummins|
Jealous Venetian Blinds
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Photography is full of clichés. I have always maintained
that they are clichés because they usually work.
I stop at photographs of beautiful women (with our without
angel wings) posing or railroad tracks or by a Harley Davidson.
One often used cliché is the projection, a natural one with
real blinds, or an artificial one using gobos
, of Venetian blinds on a lithe
human body. Gobos, which were used frequently in Hollywood noir films, are metal discs with designs of clouds, blinds, etc which are projected with optical spotlights.
Because I am bilingual I think in two languages, Spanish and
English. I am constantly comparing the origin of words in those two languages.
In Spanish a blind is a persiana. You might think that this
has to do with Persians. I know that the
Spanish word comes from the French persienne. But as for the etymology of that
word in French I have not found its origin.
It all becomes that more interesting when to translate
Venetian blind to Spanish it is a persiana veneciana.
Worse still is a celosía (also a blind in Spanish) that
comes from the French jalousie. In Spanish celos translated to jealousy and a
jealous person is a celoso. I am perplexed at all these lovely confusions.
Gondolas used to be
covered, either for shelter or for anonymity for assignations. The
covering was made from a kind of oiled canvas called rasse which was
exported to England in the 18th century and known as "Venetian". It was used to bind the slats on blinds – hence Venetian blinds.
Alexandra - What's in a Name?
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
|Alexandra Elizabeth Waterhouse-Hayward & Rosa 'Princess Alexandra of Kent'|
That, to begin with, was complicated as I am Jorge Alejandro. But
everybody has always called me Alex. My very Anglo/British uncle Freddy
Hayward used to call me Alexander (pronounced Alexaunder) and so did my father when he was going to whip me for being a bad boy.
We wanted it to be Alexandra. We thought of the racier
Xandra. In the end our daughter became Alexandra Elizabeth as her mother is
called Rosemary Elizabeth.
After a few weeks when we moved to Arboledas, Estado de
México in 1971, everybody called Alexandra Ale (pronounced Aleh). And that has
been the case since although I cringe when they pronounce it Alee.
In 1997 I photographed Ale in my mother’s silk Chinese coat.
Under the framed photograph I put many of the names of our forebears:
Waterhouse-Hayward, Healey, Cooper, Galvez, Davis, de
Irureta Goyena, Miranda y Roxas, Reyes and Puig.
Because my ancient (77 years) mind works with juxtapositions
I liked the idea of mating Ale’s photo with a scan I made today of Rosa ‘Princess
Alexandra of Kent’.
Why not? Because.
Fremontodendron californicum - Our Kitsilano Flannels
Monday, August 12, 2019
|Fremontodendron californicum 12 August 2019|
While Curtis Daily
(that baroque stand-up bassist from
Portland) was visiting us (we hosted him for Early Music Vancouver’s Purcell
concert) he asked me about that “yellow rose”.
It is not a yellow rose. It is Fremontodendron californicum
which is a lovely and very happy Zone 9 (tender and iffy in our Vancouver)
which we brought from our Kerrisdale garden. It is now somewhere around 19 feet
so fall will force me to do some pruning.
The value of this plant is that it begins to bloom in May
and at today’s date, August 12, 2019 the upper branches are still in bloom.
The leaves have a beautiful maple-leaf-like shape with an
underside that feels like hard flannel which is why the plant is commonly
called the flannel bush. It seems that some people might get eye irritation or
an allergy from those leaves.
In our garden, because of it growing on the side of our
garage, I have trained our Rosa ‘Sombreuil’
to climb on it. The French rose and
the native Californian bush/tree seem to have no issues.
The Fremontodendron is named after John C Frémont, a most interesting
military man, explorer, failed presidential candidate of the Republican Party,
etc. Here is his Wikipedia Reference.
In these waning days of summer with the roses (those that
are remontant) saving up energy to bloom sporadically in the fall, the
orange/yellow Fremontodendron is a ray of sunshine on a day like today which is