|Hosta 'Diamond Lake' & Taraxicum officinale - 1 May 2023|
Because I am an Argentine by birth I have a deep admiration for writer Jorge Luís Borges. He had a habit of writing about stuff that should be self-evident to anybody.
I have always marvelled but been puzzled when he said, “In order to remember you must first forget.”
He also wrote of going to his childhood garden and noting the ghostly presence
of his father or the smell of the ferns and the geraniums in the patio. When I read these passages I remember my own boyhood garden in Buenos Aires.
I can remember my Rosemary and our garden which we tended from 1986 until 2017. Unlike her I could never return to it as she did to see what other plants she could salvage from the abandoned house and garden. I just did not have the heart.
Now as I prepare my spring garden for its opening in mid June for the Vancouver Rose Society I have this constant memory of Rosemary working in it.
I distract myself to forget without wanting to remember. What would Borges say to that?
There are other things that are self-evident but we have to be told about them. It was at my first American Hosta Society National Convention that I first met the consummate hosta expert, Wolfram George Schmid. Besides his ample knowledge of the taxonomy of the giboshi he had similar knowledge on the artistic side of not only hosta gardening but of gardening with companion plants. His technique was to plant stuff so close to each other (he called it shoulder to shoulder gardening) that you could not see dirt. Rosemary and I followed his reasoning.
|Wolfram George Schmid|
There was something else he told me that I should have known. He said that yellow hostas would look more yellow if placed near blue hostas. He added that purple helped, too.
Ten years later I told my Argentine artist friend and mentor, Juan Manuel Sánchez this and he was astounded that I had not already known that.
Today in a semi sunny Vancouver May 1 I thought of Schmid when I walked my cat Niño around the block and I noticed all those dandelions (Taraxicum officinale) in bloom. I reluctantly cut a few knowing that bees at this time of the year go to them and scanned them with one of the leaves of my newly purchased Hosta ‘Diamond Lake’.