|Lychnis coronaria 24 June 2023
Between going to the National Convention of the American Hosta Society at Ames, Iowa on June 8th and the Vancouver Rose society having its huge rose show at VanDusen on June 18 this year marks the first time that I have not opened my garden for the society as Rosemary and I did for so many years.
What this means is that when I see a nice rose in bloom I have no compunction in cutting it to scan. Rosemary would have advised me not to so that the garden would have been at its peak for visitors.
The fact that I am enjoying my garden by myself saddens me lots. My three duplex neighbours are not in the least interested in gardens and have never wanted to visit mine.
Not having visitors come to the garden does not mean that I would not be making sure that it has to look perfect at all times.
Rosemary had many rare and lovely plants and we shared a
love for exotic old roses (OGRs – old garden roses). When we moved from our
large Kerrisdale garden to our small duplex garden we had to plant many of our
roses in large pots. We started looking for plants that could live with roses
in the pots happily. One of these plants is Lychnis coronaria. Rosemary
disliked the shocking pink one but liked the white one. Because it self-seeds
once you plant it you never have to buy it again. I would call this plant a noble one as it does its job without any fuss.
|24 June 2023
One of our mutual tasks was to deadhead the Lychnis as well as its rose companions. It is an almost relaxing activity. But today as I was doing it I knew I would be writing this blog and scanning the cut seed pods.
Doing it connects me immediately to a day in Austin, Texas in 1958 when Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. told us about giving a meaning to the mundane task of brushing our teeth. He said something like this, “If you brush your teeth thinking how nice and white your teeth will be for your girlfriends, the mundane task will have a special and important purpose.” He then quoted the lovely St. Luke Gospel where Christ tells his disciples at the Last Supper when he is about to break bread, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
For me those words (the most beautiful version is from the King James Bible) are the most lovely ones no matter what your beliefs may be or not be.
Everything I do, since my Rosemary died on 9 December 2020, is in some way my active dedication to her memory.
I cannot but think of Rosemary snipping her Lychnis with her Swiss Feldcos (now used by our daughter Alexandra in Lillooet). In the scan you can see my Feldcos which I purchased in 1987.
And so I enjoy my garden (formerly ours) and feel the presence of Rosemary in it. It is not that I believe in ghosts. I call it an absent presence.
In the glory of this garden I try very hard not to cry.