Saturday, 2 July 2016

Alexandre Girault


Alexandre Girault was an American entomologist who specialised in the study of chaicid wasps and later on all kinds of creepy-crawlies.   He was also a great eccentric.

He once went into his hotel room in Cincinnati and discovered it was crawling with bed bugs.   He left the lights on and tried to sleep across the bed without getting under the covers.   Each time he woke all the bugs which were feeding on him scurried off.  Afterwards he published a paper on his fascinating night!

Sadly, his wife died of T B and he sank into a state of paranoia from which he barely recovered.   He died in 1941 and was buried in an unmarked grave.

But his name lives on - on our Calf House wall, where the rampant rambler rose named after him rockets up the wall and across the roof every year.
It only flowers once a year but by golly does it flower.   Sadly, almost every year its flowers arrive at the same time as blustery, showery weather, and no sooner are the cheerful flowers out than they are dashed by heavy rain.   

But he does have his moment of glory and for that I like to remember this rather strange man who had a sad life.

22 comments:

Rachel said...

Which team is he racing for today?

Derek Faulkner said...

That's how rambler roses should look, well done.
My favourite garden flowers are roses and I have around 40 varieties, mostly from David Austin, the best rose grower in the country, look him up if you don't know his stuff, you'll be amazed.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Interesting little story. I have never heard of him. That rambler is exactly as a rambler should look.
Gill

Joanne Noragon said...

It's a beautiful plant. I have a white rambler started up a trellis.

Heather said...

Poor man - he gave his name to such a pretty rose. Ours have been battered by the weather too, and there is a lot of dead heading to be done. It has been very blustery here for the past few days but we have had no rain for two of them.

Maria said...

What a beautiful sight! I want to grow rambler roses on my balcony, I wonder if Alexandra Girault are suitable.
Greetings Maria x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - your comment made me laugh!! I thought of you and our recent virtual conversation on the Tour, when we were in the Post Horn having coffee this morning. A young couple of cyclists came in - brown as berries, super-fit, all muscles. He was wearing a T shirt which, at first glance, had the slogan Tour de France, but on closer, more careful inspection said 'Tour de Farce' - wish I could find one for my son (and for you for that matter)! Enjoy watching though, seriously. It is a magnificent race which requires amazing stamina - I just don't follow it (and yes, you may think 'more fool me.'

Rachel said...

No, I don't think that. I only got to like it when we used to go on holiday to France together and it was always the first two weeks of July and the only thing we could watch on French tv and follow without too much French was the Tour! And one year we were in Paris on the Finish Day which was quite exciting. Simple as that. I quite enjoy the coverage and it gives me something to do on the blog too.

Mac n' Janet said...

How very interesting, I prefer the roses to the bedbugs!

jinxxxygirl said...

What a fascinating story Pat. Thank you for that!The rose truly is beautiful. Hugs! deb

donna baker said...

Love this post Pat. A quite fine rose too for a namesake. Someone introduced me once as eccentric. I was taken aback, but didn't let on as I guess they were a little right.

Barbara Womack said...

What an interesting story! I had heard of the rose, but didn't know anything about the man.
I must say, the mention of bedbugs made me feel a little itchy, though.

Sue said...

That's a beautiful rambler. Bad weather always seems to come in when the roses are in full bloom.

angryparsnip said...

What an interesting sad story.
I miss all my roses I had in my last big front yard.
How much do you cut that rose back in the fall ?

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Frances said...

Weaver, i didn't comment on you prior post, even though I really connected with what you said about feeling a bit sad when you saw what was available at the coming auction. If I were able to ever actually meet you for lunch or tea, I would tell you more.

For now, I will try to remember to watch some of the Tour de France on tv. My youngest brother loves it, both for the cycling and the scenery, though he's never been to France.

Today was a beautiful NYC day, after yesterday afternoon's strange tornado alert. The alert backed off and we just got a good strong shower. With a few thunderstorm effects.

Now, may I praise you beautiful roses, and your letting us know the source of their name. Somehow this links to yesterday's post about the auction house. How are we individuals remembered?

xo

Cro Magnon said...

Every time I see rambling roses covered with flowers, I always say that I must buy one. I still haven't.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It looks very like the rose that grew on my grandmother's "palace", which was what she called her outside toilet. It would be nice to be remembered once a year after we're gone.

Terry and Linda said...

What a beautiful rose. I also enjoyed reading about it's name sake!

Linda

Fairtrader said...

That was a sad but wonderful story, Weaver. I have one just like that. In 1888 one of Swedens greatest poets and songwriters was born in the county of Dalarna. His name was Dan Andersson. He was very productive durng his short life and that was a stroke of luck for the rest of us, because in 1918 he got married and needed a job to support his family. So in 1920 he went to Stockholm for an interview at a newspaper, and stayed the night in a hotel. They had had serious bedbugsproblem for quite a while so all the rooms had been treated with cyanid. The room he stayed in had not been thoroughly rinsed afterwoods so he actually died of cyanidpoisoning leaving his wife and unborn daughter in a very sad position. They found him lying dead in the afternoon. We have a rich treasure of poems and songs that he wrote down from early age, already as a teenager. Several composers, both contemporary and young ones today, have taken on his poems.
Today we had the same weather here, beaming sunshine, pouring rain, thunder and more sun. No rainbow but we had one really nice the other day.

John Gray said...

You are a mine of information!

Bovey Belle said...

A beautiful rose and I am so glad that Alexander Girault's name has lived on. He lived a rather sad life by the sound of things.

I have just identified the rose I have been seeing in bloom across the counties of our recent travels - it's American Pillar. A deep pink with a white eye and really quite lovely. I can see that being added to my list of "must haves".

Angela Lambert said...

I am rereading Ronald Blythe at the moment as the new Wormingford book is out shortly.I feel sure he has just such a rose at Bottengoms.