Saturday, July 08, 2023
Pleasure in Failure
|8 July 2023|
When Ralph Rinke brought me his portrait of me on a hosta leaf he left with me with a
similiar interest to his obsession of
using other methods, unusual ones, of photographic reproduction.
I had his
hosta portrait framed and then I embarked on doing an equivalent one that would
include my Rosemary (and Alexandra). I chose a photograph that really was not
adequate. I should have used a tighter portrait.
|First good effort |
possible sunny day I would snip a Hosta ‘Guacamole’ because it had a light
centre that might reproduce my Rosemary/Ale inkjet transparency.
that I will now quit (at least with this duo) and say, in Spanish, “¡Yá! This
is a special shortcut word that translates to, “That’s it. I quit.”
|Yours truly holding my first camera, a Pentacon F I purchased in 1958 by Ralph Rinke|
Friday, July 07, 2023
Those were the Halcyon Days
|Rosa 'Emily Carr' & Hostas 'Halcyon' & 'Sunny Halcyon' 6 July 2023|
Halcyon Days – Walt Whitman
Not from successful love alone,
Nor wealth, nor honor'd middle age, nor victories of
politics or war;
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions calm,
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the evening sky,
As softness, fulness, rest, suffuse the frame, like
freshier, balmier air,
As the days take on a mellower light, and the apple at
really finish'd and indolent-ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!
Perhaps the most elegant hosta (my opinion) is Hosta ‘Halcyon’. It has
slender leaves that are curved and if kept in the shade it has a lovely
blue coating called bloom. Only recently via Holland was I able to purchase a
yellow (gold) sport of Halcyon in my local nursery.
|Hosta 'Halcyon' photographed in my garden in the 90s|
With my male cat Niño languishing with cancer at the
hospital (I am getting him back tomorrow Friday and he should live comfortably
for about a year) I cannot say that I am living a period of calm, usually in
the past and often nostalgic (a Wikipedia definition). But the blooming of the Canadian rose Rosa ‘Emily
Carr’ was a good enough excuse for a scan and this blog.
Etymology courtesy of Wikipedia
From halcyon, from Latin Alcyone, from Ancient Greek Ἀλκυόνη (Alkuónē), daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her
husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the
gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made
her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his
winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her
eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days," when storms do not
occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered
for being happy and/or successful.
|Rosa 'Emily Carr' & Hosta 'Wheee!'|
Stability with Antioch
Thursday, July 06, 2023
|Hosta 'Antioch' 6 July 2023|
With the news that my paragon of stability, Niño has cancer I am left with an empty house
where his sister Niña is providing me with some solace. Niño will be back home
on Friday and with proper care (very expensive) he will live comfortably for
perhaps another year.
anything this has made me more aware of how nothing can be taken for granted.
example is Hosta ‘Antioch’ happily in
a large pot at the entrance to my deck garden. I believe I may have purchased
Antioch around 1988.
wanting to take it for granted and remembering how much larger it was in our
Kerrisdale garden where both Rosemary and I admired it, I looked at it today with a
tad of sadness realizing how much of my stability is going out the window.
I have little left to do during the day I have been scanning my plants lots and
putting them into double exterior hard drives knowing well it is all an exercise in
futility. I must keep doing it simply because the process is fun and does
give me a needed distraction.
unable to convince my friends of the America Hosta Society that to have
generated over15,000 so called “different” cultivars is sort of shooting themselves
on the foot. This old hosta is lovely and indeed it does look different and not
like those many streaked hostas that seem to be identical and only and expert
might tell the difference.
is gone, Niño will (statistically) not survive me but I do get a degree of
comfort of seeing Hosta ‘Antioch’ providing me with a presence of stability.
Wednesday, July 05, 2023
|Paris quadrifolia & Hosta 'Whirlwind' 4 July 2023|
While some might not understand how a woman (my Rosemary),
who was from a small town in Ontario called New Dublin, could be as
sophisticated as she was, I knew better. She left her hometown as soon as she could;
learned French in Laval and went to Queen's University. Immediately, she
travelled to Mexico City (by then she had studied Spanish) sponsoring a group
of young students in a program called Experiment for International Living.
We met in 1967 and married in 1968.
It was her interest in gardening, when we bought a house with
a corner garden in Kerrisdale in 1986, that opened for her (and eventually for
me) a serious search into the history of our roses, hostas and perennials and
to be absolutely correct in knowing their names in botanical Latin and Greek.
Rosemary developed a predilection for rare, difficult to find (and grow!) perennials.
One of them is Paris quadrifolia which somehow is doing just
fine in my garden now that Rosemary is not here to tend it.
As I have explained before I like to scan my plants with
companions. It was fun today (July 4,2023) when I spotted Paris. I chose Hosta ‘Whirlwind’
because they are close to each other in the flower bed.
The blog is called Paris Twice because in the late 80s Rosemary, Alexandra, Hilary and I went to Paris.
A Patriot for July 4th
Tuesday, July 04, 2023
|Hosta 'Patriot' 3 July 2023|
It might be appropriate for me to write this blog today on
the eve of the Fourth of July.
It all began in Columbus, Ohio in 1991, sometime in June. I
was there for my first National Convention of the American Hosta Society.
There was a knock on my hotel room door. I opened it to face
a bearded man who looked like an officer from the Confederate Army.
He entered and in a whisper he told me, “Here is your
Hosta 'Patriot' was the exciting revelation of the year in
Columbus as in the wake of the termination of the Gulf War the hosta was
introduced in a wave of American patriotism.
With the hosta in my hand and with the whispering of Bob
Solberg I almost felt I was buying a drug. The price was right for a drug as I
shelled out $90.
Six years ago when Rosemary and I moved from our large Kerrisdale
garden to Kits, many of my hostas went to my daughter Ale’s Lillooet garden. She
might have my Patriot.
A year ago I saw Patriot at a garden centre and could not
resist. What you see here is a juvenile plant. The leaves are small and not as
rounded as on a mature plant. I could have waited a couple of days for the
flowers at the end of the scape (hosta lingo for stalk) to open. I decided that
I wanted to write something (for a change) on the positive side and with a
touch of humour.
At the Hosta Convention in Ames, Iowa a month ago, my daughter
Ale and I sat at a table at the hotel restaurant with Hosta Journal art director Janet Mills,
hosta expert extraordinaire Mark Zilis and with the never former Confederate
Army officer but brilliant hosta hybridizer Bob Solberg. Ale was impressed that
her father could command the attention of these luminaries. I was, too.
|Mark Zilis, Janet Mills, Bob Solberg and Alexandra Waterhouse-Hayward - 8 June 2023|