Monday, March 8, 2010

Loved and lost

My photo files are filled with plants I have loved and lost. Few rankle quite like this one: I realize white flowers are generally not a nurseryman's faves. Certain people I know have even said "white is not a color: it is the absence of color". Those scientifically inclined might even say it's all colors in one. Whatever! But just look at that little munchkin, tucked alongside the pink granite just right, with that ghostly tint. Oh yes, I guess I should tell you: this is Chamaerhodos mongolica, a rather charming name. "Ground rose" indeed: I noticed that generic in our Colorado flora and conjured a gorgeous, groundcovering rose. Our native species forms a filigree rosette two or three inches across at most, and blooms the second year with a spike of gray green flowers that are truly insignificant. Even so, I was thrilled to find virtually the same plant in Central Asia last summer...but this tiny shrub, with its pristine white blossoms eluded me in the wild. It is one of the most charming miniature plants: I have grown it in several spots and it has lasted two or three years and then folded its tent and returned to Mongolia. As Geoffrey Charlesworth observed, it doesn't really matter if you have grown a plant, unless you have a picture to prove that you have! I have the picture. I pine for the plant!


  1. Oh yes, I certainly do empathize with your pining...spring always makes me remember the plant treasures I've lost (aka killed). This one is sweeeet. No wonder you are waxing nostalgic!

  2. “Loved and lost” is a great title for an article that most rock gardeners could easily write!


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