Retractare a Third Time
Saturday, May 13, 2023
|Rebecca and Hosta 'Liberty' 13 May 2023|
It is plainly obvious that because I have written 5811 blogs
beginning in January 2006 that I have forgotten many of them and that I often
repeat the themes of my past blogs in the present.
Twice (at least) I have written about the origins of the
word in English portrait and its equivalent in Spanish retrato. Because of all
the spare time I have being obsolete, redundant, retired & inconsequential
I spend lots of time comparing in my mind the two languages that I speak.
In those above blogs on the portrait I mention that when I
shoot a portrait, something of the person I take out (withdraw?) from them, is
embedded in my photograph, particularly if it is a good one and it has eye
Last night 12 May, 2023 I looked at Rebecca’s portrait that
is on the floor in my bedroom. Because of the flood in my house two weeks ago I
have been told to remove all the framed portraits from the wall. I stared at
this one, which is special as I used the natural light in my studio (the one I
occupied for many years on the corner of Robson and Granville). The César Pelli
Eatons/ Sears building across the street with its huge white wall shed light
into my studio. Arthur Erickson, probably one of the few who knew of Pelli told
me that the light in my studio was “God’s Light”.
Arthur Erickson - God's Light
Staring at that portrait (and I decided that instead of
putting here the photo scan that I would place the frame in my garden) It came
to me that when I take a portrait, particularly of someone I think (important
that) I know well, It came to me that Rebecca and others I have photographed
have withdrawn something of me while shooting them. And could it be that not
only was a withdrawal there might be something
given that remains in my memory?
My two granddaughters is something that Rosemary shared with pleasure for many years, at least
16 or 17 years. The two girls, Rebecca and Lauren became teenagers and then
adults. They are 25 and 20. In this century that connection with grandparents (I
had a wonderful one with my abuelita) has all but vanished. Since Rosemary died
two years and six months ago I rarely see the two and they never call me. When
I text one of them, she rarely texts back.
What this portrait of Rebecca has given me is the memory of
good times with her that will never return. Perhaps in taking this portrait, Rebecca
added to me a facility to improve a talent to take further portraits of her and of others well.
But something of me, withdrawn had died out there and not to
I feel sad.
T is Iris, sir
Friday, May 12, 2023
|Iris 'Bold Print' 12 May 2023|
Sleeping Flowers- Emily Dickinson
Whose are the little beds," I asked,
"Which in the valleys lie?"
Some shook their heads, and others smiled,
And no one made reply.
"Perhaps they did not hear," I said;
"I will inquire again.
Whose are the beds, the tiny beds
So thick upon the plain?"
"'T is daisy in the shortest;
A little farther on,
Nearest the door to wake the first,
"'T is iris, sir, and aster,
Anemone and bell,
Batschia in the blanket red,
And chubby daffodil."
Meanwhile at many cradles
Her busy foot she plied,
Humming the quaintest lullaby
That ever rocked a child.
"Hush! Epigea wakens! —
The crocus stirs her lids,
Rhodora's cheek is crimson, —
She's dreaming of the woods."
Then, turning from them, reverent,
"Their bed-time 't is," she said;
"The bumble-bees will wake them
When April woods are red."
In our Athlone in Kerrisdale garden my Rosemary banned Iris
germanicus (bearded iris) but tolerated the yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus
growing in our pond. She liked anything blue. So we had lots of blue irises.
This iris bloomed on 12 May 2023 but I have no memory if
I bought it after or before Rosemary died.
These days I try to be distracted so as to try not to
think of my missing love so I put special emphasis in scanning Iris ‘Bold Print’
in five different ways.
Iris as a person’s name reminds me that I met two women
named Iris in my past life and both were in Argentina. I had an aunt Iris
Hayward who was married to my father’s youngest brother Freddy. Iris pronounced
her name Argentine style “Eerees”. While doing my military service in Argentina
I liked to visit Freddy and Iris in their home in Acassuso because Aunt Iris
made the best devilled ham I have ever had.
The other Iris (also pronounced the Argentine way was
Iris Moretta. They were from the Philippines and her family was very large. There were 8 of them. The men were named after biblical angels and the women were all flowers.
More Emily Dickinson
A charm invests her face
The white heat
I tried to be a rose
nature rarer uses yellow
Nor would I be a poet
November left then clambered up
You cannot make remembrance grow
the maple wears a gayer scarf
Rosa 'Leander' & a Lovely Interloper
Thursday, May 11, 2023
|Clematis montana & mystery rose 11 May 2023|
These last months it seems that I begin my blog (this is one
is 5809) with, “at my age of 80”. It would seem that I am going to repeat that obsessive
Today I noticed that in my large pot containing the English
Rose Rosa ‘Leander’, there was an open rose (the second of the season after this one). Because it had five petals I knew it was some sort of wild species
rose. How did it get there? When a friend of ours knowing how much Rosemary
loved R. ‘Leander’ saw one in an abandoned garden she brought it over. Rosemary
was able to see it bloom before she died on December 9 2020.
Leander & Rosemary's Hero
|Rosa 'Leander' 7 June 2016|
The little wild rose was part of the root stock as Leander
was grafted to it.
At my age of 80 (you see?) I find that I am less likely to
kill stuff. Today I decided that Leander and the wild rose will keep sharing the pot.
Because the little rose was almost the same colour of the
now flowering Clematis montana I scanned them together.
|Rosa 'Leander' 18 May 2020 that Rosemary was able to see|
We had a large Clematis montana in our Athlone garden and I
photographed a healthy looking Art Bergmann under it.
Art Bergmann and Clematis montana
All the plants in this Kits garden bring memories of many
wonderful moments shared in Athlone and here with my Rosemary. Her plants have
her face on them. It is because of this obsession that I have to keep her
garden as intact as possible that on the Wednesday of last week I went hunting
for some of her plants that had died and that I wanted to replace. And as I
wrote here, when I returned my whole house was flooded from top to garden.
Restoration will take time. What keeps me sane is trying to calm down Niña
while Niño looks at us both with that incredible equanimity and placidity of
|Rosa 'Leander' 6 August 2022|
Rosemary and I particularly liked Rosa 'Leander' as in our shady Athlone garden we discovered that it was a healthy shade-tolerant rose.
Accuracy out of the Window - Artsy Plant Scans
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
|Hosta 'Diamond Lake' 12 May 2023|
In the past I have written quite a few times how I began
scanning the plants of my garden with my Epson flatbed scanner beginning on a
hot summer day in 2001.
My original intention after at seeing my beginner’s luck
(look here) with Rosa 'Reine Victoria, was that I was going to always scan the roses and other plants at
100% size, concentrating in being accurate with colour and recording the day’s
date. Because in the case of the roses, I find myself scanning them several
times during a season and year after year, there is a visible pattern on how
With the death of my Rosemary on 9 December 2020 I have tried to overcome my terrible grief by finding distractions like writing this
blog (blog 5809) and finding new ways of taking photographs. Of late I have
discovered that my scanner is a lovely tabletop camera. The plants scans should
have made me notice that.
The scanner as a tabletop camera
But the idea of scanning plants for accuracy, I am now
modifying by going bonkers in doing “artistic” stuff.
At many of the Vancouver nurseries they are selling hostas
that have been grown in greenhouses so that they are blooming in early May as
opposed to the usual June. I buy these largish hostas, to be eventually
inherited my my Lillooet daughter Ale for her one acre garden. I cut the
flowers on their scapes (hosta lingo for stems) and scan them in all sorts of
way, for fun.
There is a bonus here. On June 7 Ale and I are going to the
National Convention of the American Hosta Society in Ames, Iowa. I am reprising
(with the latest modifications) my last year’s PowerPoint presentation at the
convention in Minneapolis.
I discovered the beauty of hosta flowers by observing how
lovely rose buds can be before they open. Below are links to two blogs on hosta flowers.
The gardeners of the American Hosta Society are enthusiastic about the
variegation of hosta leaves and sort of ignore the beauty that I have seen in hosta flowers. It is my intention to so some convincing in Ames.
In praise of hosta flowers
Frosting on the cake