|Top, Rosa 'Susan Williams- Ellis', R. 'Escimo', R. 'Margaret Merril', below R. 'Jacqueline du Pré, & R. 'Sombreul' 20 July 2021
White is a colour I have never been able to escape from. It first hit me in my two years in the Argentine Navy when from Spring into fall I had to wear summer whites. This meant that when I traveled in public transport like trains, the colectivos (Buenos Aires buses) and the subte I could never sit down. The same happened if I happened to want to sit on a park bench.
What made my white uniform a bit easier to wear is that against navy regulations I had the pants crease sewn to a permanent razor sharp line.
In my later life I avoided white dress shirts and preferred the Brooks Brothers light blue button down. I remember once in a trip to New York that I went to Brooks Brothers and purchased a couple of those fabulous shirts with my American Express Card. The lugubrious and well-dressed attendant passed the phone to me and said, “The folks at American Express want to have a chat with you.”
When I married Rosemary in 1968 we did not do so by the church. We bought her a white Mexican dress with bluebirds for our appointment with the judge.
That dress has been with us since and even my younger granddaughter Lauren posed for me wearing that dress.
White then became an important colour in our Kerrisdale garden on Athlone Street. Rosemary was a colour snob and only allowed blues and whites in the garden. It was only later that, little by little, she warmed to other colours, particularly yellow.
Today 20 July, 2021 I spotted these five white roses all in bloom. There is a sixth one, Fair Bianca, but the last bloom yesterday had no petals today.
|Rosa 'Fair Bianca' 25 May 2021
All these white roses were special to Rosemary and soon became my favourites, too. But there is one rose in this group that Rosemary never saw.
In October, without telling me she purchased from Palatine Roses from Niagara-on-the-Lake three roses without telling me. She hinted a month before she died on December 9 that I had to buy three large Vietnamese terracotta pots (they are fired at high temperatures so they can be left outside during the winter) and a couple of bags of dirt. In February my doorbell rang and outside I found a big box with three roses. One of them was the lovely five petaled Rosa ‘Escimo’
I feel sad that Rosemary never was able to see Escimo but at the same time I glory at her choice that even posthumously she is sharing with me.