Sunday, June 05, 2011

Gardening as Dadaism


Last year I ordered two climbing roses from my favorite company: David Austin Roses.

They specialize in old English garden roses, many of which they create and name in honor of outstanding subjects of Great Britain.

My very favorite of Austin's roses is Graham Thomas. Golden yellow shading to peach, it smells like honeysuckle and opens to reveal a beautiful multi-petaled heart. I lovelovelove it. So I ordered a climbing Graham Thomas and another climber called Constance Spry.

But we got here in mid-May and I ordered in late May and they said it was too late. They'd hold my order until spring, 2011. Great! And by great I meant, crap! But I accepted their expertise.

Fast forward to spring, 2011. No rose. No rose. Nothing. I email. Nothing. I email again, and this time I get a reply (a very nice reply) and a promise to check on it.

A week later, they ship me a rose. It's supposed to be Graham Thomas because their supply of Constance Spry was "disappointing" or something. That's ok, through another email exchange they decide to send me another Graham Thomas. I figure I'll plant them together, train them over the fence, and all God's children will drool over my roses.

We received the first plant this week, and I planted it this morning (after letting my newest baby soak overnight in a bucket of water). When I reached down to remove the plastic tags, I say that they said "Gertrude Jekyll." Uh...

That's not Graham Thomas. That's not even yellow. It's pink. Hot pink. And it has an "old rose" fragrance, not the honeysuckle I wanted.

Well, poop.

So if we're being positive: now my fence will be pink and yellow, which is very pretty. Now I won't have duplicate Graham Thomas. Now I will repeat to myself, "gardening is always about accidents. Always."


1 comment:

Miriam said...

We have both and I have to tell you that we love the smell of Gertrude much more than Graham. Most people who come over when the bushes are blooming and I insist on them smelling my roses, agree.