|Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ayesha' 12 October 2021
I wrote about my personal red carpet in relation to Hegel here. Hydrangeas, which are not necessarily considered important plants, nonetheless were so in Rosemary and my garden in Kerrisdale. We had 37 different cultivars and species of this extremely noble and easy to take care plant. Because of the small size of our present Kitsilano garden I chose three. One of them is the mophead (even that sobriquet is offensive to me!) Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’. I have blogged extensively on this plant that is most unusual if one gets close to it.
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ayesha'& Rosa 'William Shakespeare'
My red carpet to my past goes all the way to my boyhood garden in Buenos Aires where we had many hydrangeas. There is a slight smell of a hydrangea that instantly transports me to summers in Buenos Aires.
As a child I was not able to discern the beauty of the hydrangea flowers as they transitioned into fall. Their bright colours became more muted.
Since I have scanned my plants, beginning in 2001, I have learned to get close with my eyes (I have extremely good eyesight for my age) and appreciate the beauty of flowers that let go.
As a member of the rose society, when I go to their rose shows in the middle of the summer, members cut perfect roses in their prime and display them in beautiful vases.
When Hilary and I head to the June 8 American Hosta Society Convention next year in Minneapolis the most important display exhibit is the Cut Leaf Show where perfect hosta leaves are shown to admiring audiences.
To me those exhibits miss the point of the long transitional beauty of flowers as they move toward fall. We love the colour of fall. Why is it that we cannot admire the beauty of a spent rose or hydrangea? And hosta flowers, even before they open are lovely to behold.
As fall proceeds in my garden that was once also Rosemary’s, I reflect on those moments in my past when I was playing toy soldiers in the Buenos Aires garden oblivious to the beauty that surrounded me.
As fall proceeds in my garden that was once also Rosemary’s, I remember her fondly for all she taught me so that I can now write about this "vile and ordinary" mophead and its beauty.
That Rosemary when I first saw her in 1967 and that Rosemary of 2020 are but a confirmation that beauty cannot ever be pinned to one moment in time.