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.