Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another La Ronge Garden

Today I visited the garden of fellow garden enthusiast (and long-ago transplant from the UK, the breeding-ground of garden enthusiasts/eccentrics). It is good to get inspiration from other gardeners, and in this case, I can peruse other plants that are demonstrably hardy to our climate.
Rambling clematis, and various perennials at a friend's La Ronge garden:
This friend is a self-confessed primula fancier, revelling in growing semi-hardy primulas and rejoicing when they reappear each spring. I think her primula-related activities are a covert rebellion against the horticulture "establishment". This 70-some-year-old seems to enjoy puffing away on a cigarette while re-telling glorious stories of the educated horticultural characters and garden-center gurus whose pronoucements have been refuted by the very existence of certain plants in her little perennial patch.
Trollius (Globeflower)

We all have different motivations in our gardening. For my mother, gardening is not a task to be savoured. It is a sweaty, painful endeavor, not unlike childbirth. She even admits that she weeds the garden only to save herself from embarrassment in the eyes of a "real gardener". Regardless, my parent's yard generally looks quite nice, as it is quite established with shrubs and trees.

Gentiana verna (Spring Gentian), my friend's new favourite plant. I should have put something in the photo to show scale, as the entire plant could fit in your palm.

For my friend the primula queen, her now-deceased father passed on the love of plants. He took her to famous British gardens as a child, offering to hold her shoes and stockings so that she could run freely with the grass between her toes. She fondly cherishes her giant delphiniums, grown from seeds sent from the UK by her father before he died -- the last seeds he ever sent. I hope that my descendants pick up some love of plants, not only for my sake, but because it is such an enjoyable and enriching endeavor.

Friend's newly-aquired Finnish Rhododendron cultivar, possibly "Helsinki University". Before this, I never knew of any Rhodo we could grow here. I might possibly need to have one of my own!

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