Roses, Clematis & Hosta Scanned
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Hostas, Clematis & Hosta Scanned II
|Rosa 'Duchess of Portland '& Hosta 'Northwest Textures' `17 June 2020|
Gardening has been a part of my life even when I was not
aware of it.
In my boyhood in Buenos Aires I played in our Coghlan ,
garden in Buenos Aires. I climbed the khaki tree and the several plumb trees. I
avoided the slippery and very large fig tree. My mother had warned me to never
bite on anything related to our many oleanders. We often had our family
photographs taken by the large glicina
(Argentine Spanish for wisteria).
During the many locusts plagues my mother and our
housekeeper would bang pots in the futile attempt to get the insects off our
Once in Mexico, when I was 15, I played with explosives mixing
potassium chlorate (much better than potassium nitrate) with aluminum powder. I
was able to buy the potassium, no questions asked at a wholesale pharmacy,
called Farmacia el Elefante, on Calle Madero.
I would pack the mixture in tin cans and bury them with an
electric wire, one end on a battery, the other with the filament of metal pot
scrubbers. In one occasion I buried it under one of my mother’s rose bushes (it
had never bloomed). The bush went flying in the air. I received a whipping with
a Filipino slipper called a chinela
The bush, subsequently re-buried, gloriously bloomed!
|Rosa 'Baron Girod d' Lain' & Hosta 'Janet' 19 June 2020|
In Mexico City, after I married my Rosemary in 1968, we purchased
a little house with the help of my mother. We had a garden of which I have
little memory of. I was not interested in gardens or gardening.
But my Rosemary and I frequented the rock garden of the
University of Mexico which had all kind of exotic cactus.
|Hosta 'Iniswood' & Clematis 'Taiga' 16 June 2020|
Once in Vancouver in 1975, my Rosemary gardened in our tiny
strata title Burnaby Home. One day she told me that she was tired of her little
garden and wanted a real one. So in 1986 we moved to large Kerrisdale, corner
It had lots of shade and I discovered that something called
a hosta was shade tolerant. Hostas became my entry into serious gardening. I
frequented American Hosta Society conventions and smuggled many rare plants in
my suitcases. Hostas wrapped in wet newspaper survived splendidly.
|Rosa 'Chapeau de Napoleon' & Hosta 'Captain Kirk' 19 June 2020|
Sometime around 1987 my Rosemary took me to a Vancouver Rose
Society meeting and suddenly my interest in gardening exploded. I have not
looked back since.
Now in our small Kits garden, my Rosemary vents her frustration
in no longer being in Kerrisdale by helping our eldest daughter Ale who has
almost an acre in Lillooet. Many of our Gallicas and large hostas found a home
|Hosta 'Liberty' & Clematis florida 'Alba Plena' 16 May 2020|
I cannot understand how Rosemary and Ale discuss portulacas
on the phone. Portulacas?
The plants I am interested in have a face. I met and knew or
know the hosta hybridizers. I know the members of the Vancouver Rose Society
who grow this rose or that rose. Rosa
‘Jacqueline du Pré’ has the musician’s
face and music in my head. Rosa
‘Fair Bianca’ and many others have the face of
Janet Wood ( a former president of the Vancouver Rose Society who is deceased)
who recommended them to us.
|Rosa 'Buttercup' & Centaurea cyanus 4 July 2019|
Nothing is conjured in my brain or memory when I hear
In 2001 I started scanning the roses of our garden and many
other plants. I scanned them for accuracy of colour and dated them for added
precision. The scans are beautiful but until recently the only importance for
me was that they were a record of the plants that survived our gardening (and
those that didn’t). Having a scan of my long dead Rosa
ameliorated the loss for me.
|Rosa 'Buttercup' and Clematis 'Bijou' 09 June 2020|