Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Naming of Plants

I have always thought it would be rather nice to have a plant named after me. I suppose for this to happen you either have to be famous or greatly loved by some plant breeder or something like that.
When I went round my garden with the camera I was surprised how many plants I could see which were named after people. First of all there is my very favourite old rose 'Gertrude Jekyll'. Now if anyone deserved being remembered by a rose it is she, for what a wonderful gardener and garden planner she was. Together with Lutyens they designed and brought to fruition so many beautiful places - she deserves a lovely, scented rose.

Then there is my rambler rose, 'Alexander Girault'. It only has one flowering each year, but that flowering involves hundreds of scented blooms. Sadly, this year, as fast as they come out they are ruined by downpours (a storm dropped 19mms this morning).

My other favourite rose is 'Albertine' - she is an old favourite, going back to my childhood, when my father had Albertine on one wall in the garden and Dr. Van Fleet on the other. Who were they both I wonder, and what inspired the creator of these roses to choose their names?

My blue herbaceous geranium, 'Russell Pritchard' creates huge mounds of colour in the garden' Again I don't know who Russell Pritchard was but his name certainly lives on in this hardy geranium.

Finally there is the herbaceous geranium, 'Patricia'. I bought her because she is my namesake - I don't know that Patricia she was named after but I like to think this is the nearest I shall get to immortality through a garden plant. To make it doubly nice I bought the plant at a plant stall in the grounds of Coxhoe Rectory, the house where Lawrence Sterne, the author of Tristram Shandy was rector.

So how is all that for a bit of name dropping.


angryparsnip said...

Lovely post today.
I too think about plant names and like you I know who some of the people are.
I have moved around much of my life, my x would buy a house we would live in it while he fixed it up and then when it looked really nice and liveable we moved again. The one home we lived in the longest and lived through several remodels and I though we would finally stay put, was burned down in a huge wildfire. Long back story to say how lucky you are to be able to live in a home a long time where you know the plants, their names, have seen them grow and can remember were you bought the plant.

cheers, parsnip

George said...

Lovely photos, Pat, and I think its high time someone named a plant after you. After all, you have dubbed yourself a "weaver of grass."

Arija said...

The variety Alexander Girault was bred by the Orléans-based company Barbier et Cie and first marketed in 1907.
It is named after one of the employees of this family-run firm.
I wonder if 'Albertine' was named after Albert Barbier, one of the sons of the firm of Barbier, who was also a rose breeder.
Walter Van Fleet was bred by Dr. Walter Van Fleet (United States, 1910).
'Russell Prichard' is named after the Prichard Nursery of Riverslea, England.

Sorry if I have taken the romance out of their names.
Albertine was planted for my eldest granddaughter 20 years ago and now extends over the length of their front verandah and blooms continuously fro two months in spring.

Heather said...

Such a lovely post Pat and beautiful photos too. I am very bad at remembering the names of the plants in our garden but have two very similar geraniums to yours. Your mention of roses reminded me of a next-door neighbour of many years ago who was always trying to restrain Dr.Van Fleet from climbing all over Ena Harkness.

Gerry Snape said...

really lovely batch of dad had the Albertine over an arch outside the kitchen at home in Belfast. I'm also really bad at names but my daughter bought me a sweet smelling pink and cream rose that blooms at least twice a summer and I have it outside the kitchen window. lovely!

Dominic Rivron said...

When I saw the title I expected a pacifist parody of a famous poem.

Shirley said...

Love your blog, we came out to Australia over 30 years ago, still miss those green fields. Your vegie patch looks very productive, love the photos of the flowers.

Shirley :)

MorningAJ said...

What you need is here

Tom Stephenson said...

I think they should name a plant after you too, Weaver (of Grass). I didn't know that Lawrence Sterne was a rector, so I've learnt something as well.

ArcticFox said...

perhaps this would appeal?

Golden West said...

I read this morning that you are due for some major rainfall today - stay warm and dry, Weaver!

The Weaver of Grass said...

First of all thanks to Arija for providing all that information for us. All so interesting.
I had forgotten Ena Harkness - lovely rose but her head was always top heavy or her stalk too weak, so she always flopped over.
Like Dominic's comment - The Naming of Parts is one of my favourite poems, Dom so thanks for the reminder.
Thanks to everyone for visiting.

thousandflower said...

I have the daffodil Jennie for one daughter and the peony, Marilla Beauty for another. I am looking for a Siri plant but so far can only find a phone app. Sigh. Granddaughter, Charlotte got a Charlotte rose for her birthday and granddaughter, Iris, got a, well, an iris.

Dave King said...

You're not the first, but I'm sure I left a comment here. Maybe my broadband playing up - it's intermittent at the moment so I came back to check.
I certainly agree with your sentiments re Gertrude Jekyll and Lutyens.