|Rosa 'Westerland' 18 June 2021|
Many of the plants in my garden be they roses, perennials, trees, ferns, hostas, etc have human faces on them. Perhaps they were given to us by a friend or I knew the hybridizer. Some like the Gallica Rose, Rosa ‘James Mason’, conjure the face and voice of the actor.
The plants that were my Rosemary’s favourites, which she originally bought and planted, of course remind me of her. But there is one that is very special. This is my (am having a hard time alternating my with our now that Rosemary is no longer present physically in the garden) orange rose, Rosa ‘Westerland’.
When we arrived at our Kerrisdale home and garden in 1986 there was a little circular rose bed in the middle of the back garden. We subsequently enlarged it. In it there was an orange/red Hybrid Tea Rose called Alexander which was introduced by Harkness in 1972. Rosemary did not like it. She told me that she did not appreciate showy colours and had a preference for white or blue. General Alexander was demoted and then banished.
Nothing changed until the beginning of this century around 2005 when I brought Westerland. I told rosemary that it had a strong scent that reminded me of synthetic apricot jam. She sort of accepted my purchase but told me to plant in the laneway garden.
From that point on other red, orange or yellow flowered roses came into the garden. But Westerland was a rose that made Rosemary smile.
This rose is for me the face of Rosemary. It is a healthy and aggressively tall grower. Today I decided to scan a big display as an excuse on reminiscing about the time I shared with Rosemary in our garden.
Which will always be our garden.