She does not stink
Saturday, May 21, 2022
|Rosa foetida 21 May 2022|
Like many wild roses, Rosa foetida, or commonly known as
Austrian Briar, dates back well into Medieval times. This delicate rose was
first described in 1590 when it was introduced to Europe from Persia. People
were quite amazed by it because it was yellow, a color that wasn’t yet known in
roses. From then, Rosa foetida became a valuable addition to the cultivation of
roses. Austrian Briar became a valued flower when its cultivator Carolus
Clusius introduced it to the imperial garden of Rudolf II in Vienna.
In spite of the cold and rain I have already had three roses
Rosa ' Louis Odier'
Spring & my flying dinosaur
|Rosa ' Fantin Latour' 18 May 2022|
But it was today that I looked at the extraordinarily
healthy leaves of my new species rose, Rosa foetida. It has this name as some
people in the past (in the 1500s) when it arrived in Europe from Persia did not
seem to like the licorice scent. When the yellow blooms open this season I will
Rosemary taught me to look at the details of plants and many
of her perennials had little flowers. I had to get close to see what they were
like. I remember as a boy in seeing stuff through the high school microscopes. They opened a whole new
world for me. My Epson PerfectionV700 Photo exceeds the magnification of those former high school microscopes I used.
When I scan some of my granddaughter’s negatives or slides
or enlarge their digital camera takes and view them on my monitor, I see
details that they might not know even if they look at themselves in the
mirror. Photoshop in a monitor has
brought a whole new meaning to the word intimacy.
Today I noticed the foliage of Rosa foetida and I knew I
would have to scan one of the stems knowing that I would not be getting the
roses on it. I believe that my decision was a worthwhile one. Not only did I
scan the foliage once but I moved it around and did two more. And I could have
Nature rarer uses yellow - Emily Dickinson
Friday, May 20, 2022
|From top - Gerbera Daisy, Stylophorum diphyllum, Hosta 'Coast to Coast' & below Solenia x hiemalis - 20 may 2022|
Nature rarer uses yellow – Emily Dickinson
Nature rarer uses yellow
Than another hue;
Saves she all of that for sunsets,—
Prodigal of blue,
Spending scarlet like a woman,
Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly,
Like a lover's words.
When Rosemary and I started gardening in our large corner property on Athlone Street in Kerrisdale yellow as anathema. Flowers had to be blue or white. The same applied to red and orange. But little by little rosemary began to accept those warm colours. Three roses changed the tide. They were Rosa ‘Mrs. Oakely Fisher', Rosa ‘Westerland’ and Rosa ‘All that Jazz’.
Now, when yellow flowers appear in my garden, as they did today, I remember my Rosemary. I smile first and then I succumb to my almost constant depression at her loss.
Rosa 'Mrs. Oakley Fisher'
Rosa 'All that Jazz'
Yellow she affords - Emily Dickinson
When the well-known California/ Mexican restaurant, The Topanga Café on 4th Avenue,not far from Macdonald, burned to the ground, many were shocked at the loss. I am happy to report that on that empty lot and the adjoining one, Urban Gardens has opened a nice nursery. I have gone twice to buy some of those annuals that my snobbish perennial-crazy Rosemary liked to have to bring colour to the garden. In the scan here there is a yellow flower that I had never seen and I wonder if Rosemary knew about it. It is called Solenia x hiemalis ‘Yellow Improved’.
Spotty Dotty & Equisetum
Thursday, May 19, 2022
|Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' & Equisetum - 20 May 2022|
Podophyllum: Genus name comes from the Greek words pous
or podos meaning a foot and phyllon meaning a leaf with reference to the shape
of the leaf in the American species P. peltatum.
horsetail, snake grass, puzzlegrass) is the only living genus in Equisetaceae,
a family of ferns, which reproduce by spores rather than seeds.
Equisetum is a "living fossil", the only living
genus of the entire subclass Equisetidae, which for over 100 million years was
much more diverse and dominated the understorey of late Paleozoic forests. Some
equisetids were large trees reaching to 30 m (98 ft) tall. The genus Calamites
of the family Calamitaceae, for example, is abundant in coal deposits from the
Carboniferous period. The pattern of spacing of nodes in horsetails, wherein
those toward the apex of the shoot are increasingly close together, is said to
have inspired John Napier to invent logarithms. Modern horsetails first
appeared during the Jurassic period.
My Rosemary did not abide having any Equisetum
(horsetail) in the garden as it is a terrible weed that spreads quickly.
Rosemary used to love the tidy back lanes of our Kerrisdale home and was
unhappy in our Kits home because the back lane is far from tidy. She would have
me weed-eat the weeds in our adjoining neighbours’ garages.
Today I spotted a horsetail in our garden and I pulled it
out. Then I was struck that its colours resembled one of Rosemary’s fave Podophyllum which now (because it is mature) has leaves that are the size of
dinner plates. I cut the smallest leaf for the scan here.
I wrote here how Vancouver noted clarinetist Gene
Ramsbottom explained to me the significance of horsetail to clarinets and
Gene Ramsbottom and Equisetum
Scanning the plants in my garden is a pleasant pasatiempo which translates badly to
hobby. It literally means something that makes time pass. It is one of the
distractions of my day in the growing season. I am comfortable sitting at my
computer and next to the scanner and arranging my plants. I now know that few
of the people I know have any interest in my scanographs or that I am now a
What is important is that I have fun doing this.
I write to find out how I feel
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
“I write entirely
to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it
means. What I want and what I fear.” Joan Didion
Photography is not
about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed. Garry Winogrand
I have come to understand very well what Joan
Didion and Garry Winogrand meant in what they wrote.
I have modified the two statements for my own purposes in
I take photographs to find out how I see.
I write to find out how I feel.
Since my Rosemary died on December 9, 2020, after our
marriage of 52 years, I have found a bit of comfort (solace?) in my anguish to write about
her and how her death has affected and is affecting me.
Because I write my blog (to repeat Didion) just for me,
the fact that I post it into social media, Facebook and Twitter, it might make a
few folk think, “Why does he not move on?”
In social media it is only a matter of time before someone
will confess about having haemorrhoids. The level of medical information, both
physical and mental, given by these folks is something that I cannot understand.
In my case my blog is a personal “dear diary” and I don’t trumpet my political
or religious views in it.
What I write in my blog in many ways I project to my
family and intimate friends. As for social media friends, they might learn
something from my Rosemary postings. There is nothing that can ever prepare
anybody for the loss of a lifelong partner. When I write about how I feel and
how I live from day to day I experience a bit of relief. Perhaps others with a
similar loss might profit from this.
Despair - not Rosemary's petticoat daffidil