|Rhododendron 'Golfer' & Rosa 'Complicata' 24 June 2021|
When Rosemary and I started gardening in our Kerrisdale garden in 1986 in spite of my interest in shade tolerant hostas we did not want to have a monoculture garden. By the time we had to sell our house with its lovely and large corner garden we had such a variety of perennials, some annuals, roses, hydrangeas and stellar tree specimens that it could have been defined as a small botanical garden.
Since I began scanning the roses (that was my first entry into what has become an obsession these days of our late pandemic) I did so as singular specimens. Now I tend to do flowers and their companions. Like people, plants in a garden have to share space. A large shrub must be prevented from causing so much shade that it might not favour a nearby plant.
These two today share a space that is relatively shady. The rose, Rosa ‘Complicata’ was literally thrown at me in a small pot some 30 years ago by Alleyne Cook who said, “If you are going to grow roses this one has to be one of them.” On a visit to his garden in North Van (his widow Barbara now holds court there) I spotted a small rhododendron that had a startling silver/white tomentum (the coating on the upper side of the leaves. I asked Cook. He answered, “Golfer.” I thought he was joking so I asked again. I received the same answer except this time it was louder.
|Barbara & Alleyne Cook|
As I see both these plants in Rosemary and my garden, today 24 June 2021 I smile as I remember that pleasant man who taught me so much about gardening.