|Rosa 'Shropshire Lad' & Hosta 'Antioch' 30 July 2021|
Eight months have passed since I lost my Rosemary. Things are not all that good but thankfully I have four distractions plus the twice weekly visit of my youngest daughter Hilary.
Those distractions are my two cats, the garden, my now almost daily blog (I try to keep at it) and scanning my plants.
Scanning the plants, I have come to learn, provides me with
a pleasant pastime without the stress of playing golf which is something I was
never interested in. I wrote about my relationship with golf here. .
|Rosa 'Escimo' & Hosta 'Strip Tease' 31 July 2021|
At first, in 2001, the idea of scanning had one purpose. This was to accurately record the roses, and soon after most of the plants of our garden. I was careful to make the colour as true to what I saw and I always put the date of the plant scanned. I enlarged them in my scanner to 100% size so that added a good measure of my interest in accuracy.
But now as I fiddle in my comfortable office, many times
with one of my cats in residence on a nearby stool, I am “going artistic”. I
move the leaves this way and that way. And I make more than one version of the
scan. I do alternate scans where I move the leaves and plants around. Note that I purposely looked for young and beautifully reddish rose leaves for the intial scan here.
Of late I have been thinking how when Rosemary and I started gardening seriously I 1986 we had my garden and her garden. I had my plants and she had her plants.
It didn’t take long for my persuasive wife to make me realize that any one type of plant garden was a bore and that botanical diversity and experimentation was more interesting.
My initial interest in the mono-culture of hostas changed when Rosemary urged me to accompany her to a meeting of the Vancouver Rose Society. Then there were meetings of the Alpine Garden Club and others. Rosemary almost made me a complete gardener.
I believe that my artsy fartsy combination of roses with clematis, clematis with hosta, etc are also in honour of Rosemary’s interest in plants big and small, easy ones and difficult ones. Watching her on her knees or on her bum dealing with dark little corners of the garden with her secateurs (most of the time she opted for scissors) made me realize that she looked at plants and the garden overall but also, very important in its minute details. She is the one who manicured the edges of our plant beds with scissors.
In the almost five years that we have lived in Kitsilano we realized that if we wanted to have many plants in close quarters we had to deal with her novel idea of plants with companion plants. In our many roses in large clay pots she tried (successfully in most cases) lovely little (not to aggressive) clematis, gray plants and in particular that gray Lychnis coronaria with white flowers.
I believe then that my new interest in combining plants in one scan is a prolonging a fond memory that I have of my Rosemary, the complete gardener.
The single (single in rose parlance means five petals) white rose in the scan here is one of three that Rosemary ordered in October and that arrived in February. One Mrs. Oakley Fisher was in such bad shape that it did not make it. I ordered it from a rose nursery in Oregon called Rogue. They ship to Canada. Perhaps before the fall if it arrives I will be able to scan one.