|Hosta 'Guacamole' & Gerbera 'Sweet Fiesta' 15 August 2022|
El humo se desvanece en el aire. Real Academia Española
My online dictionary RAE (Real Academia Española) defines in several poetic ways the meaning of desvanecer (to fade). The above definition translates to “smoke fades into the air”. I find that quite attractive to my ear when I repeat it out loud.
The verb desvanecer also applies to a person who is feeling faint so the word is not only by something like the fading colours of an old colour print exposed to sunlight.
Most roses become lighter and thus fade in the sun. One brilliant exception is Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis. Blooms darken with age. Some very red Gallica roses fade to a darker, almost metallic purple.
Particularly with annuals (my Rosemary’s annuals) I sometimes feel sad for them (as if they were persons) when I notice that the blooms are fading or as Rosemary would have said, “They are past it.”
After many years of observation I have come not only to appreciate the fading of my roses but to also see beauty in the transition. With the roses I know that they will return next year, but with these annuals I contemplate in them death and my own.
Hostas, no matter what people say, are not shade loving. My friend, hosta expert Wolfram George Schmid (now gone) who wrote the bible on hostas often told me, “Hostas are shade tolerant.”
There is much confusion in the hosta world in how to call light-coloured plants, are they gold or yellow? Schmid used the nice word lutescent for hostas that whitened in the sun as the season progresses.
In my scan here I have two leaves of Hosta ‘Guacamole’. The smaller one (hidden underneath bigger leaves) has retained the original colour while the bigger leaf is becoming lutescent.
The two blooms of Gerbera ‘Sweet Fiesta’ will soon be replaced by new ones. But here one of them is fading.
I could say that their colour is fading into the air.