Wednesday Vignette – evolving sensibilities

I have started to see an interesting change in myself. Ever since first becoming a gardener back in the last century, I have never really liked pink very much. Granted, a lot of plants with fab leaves seem to come with pink flowers, so yes – by default, I accidentally DO grow some pink things. But, other than occasionally gravitating toward the charms of some hot pink marvel, I have never really sought out the softer versions of that particular color. Until one day…

As most of you probably know, I spend a few days a week at a wonderful “destination nursery” called Joy Creek. A major part of this nursery is the four-acre stock garden, cut through by a network of pathways. One day, when wandering down a path less taken, I saw this little pearlescent, pink thing glow in the shade between some larger shrubs. You know how there are certain genera that just never grab you, for whatever reason? Well, Geranium has been one of those genera for me. Although I understand how much of a useful, valuable workhorse some Geraniums can be (in dry shade, for example), I just never found enough of an urge to explore them further.

Geranium x oxonianum 'Wargrave pink'

I stopped and examined this adorable little freshly pink flower, and decided I needed to figure out what it was. Much less blue than most other pink and purple geraniums, this one leans more of a peachy, yellow-ish pink. And, it has a green center that radiates through the petals in a marvelous translucent way! (Some of you might also know that I’m a sucker for green flowers, so that alone gave it some serious street cred.) At first opportunity, I headed for our backstock area, to examine the many other geraniums we grow. Try as I might, I couldn’t find anything that looked remotely like it. Next step was to ask my friend and fellow coworker Tamara. Being a savvy smartypants, she consulted the Joy Creek inventory maps, and came up with a name. Later that night, I did some research on that name, and realized that it didn’t look anything like the one I was trying to identify. Worse – it was listed as the ONLY geranium in that bed. Nobody else seemed to know what it was either – trust me  – I asked EVERYONE.

The search went on. I googled images, and eventually landed on one called Geranium x. oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’. Convinced that that was the one – or at least a spitting image  of it – I googled where to find this plant for sale. Most all of the sources were located overseas, in England. Tamara and I begged our boss Maurice to propagate it, and I tried jogging his memory about trips to England from where he might have brought this beauty back. The gardens at Joy Creek contain plants brought over from all over the world, and we grow plants given to him by British horticultural dignitaries like Christopher Lloyd and Beth Chatto, so this possibility wasn’t at all a farfetched idea. Still, the nickel of recollection did not yet drop, so the origins of this particular Geranium remains a mystery. I suppose it – as suggested – could just be a seedling – although a lucky one at that. Or, someone else planted her in the garden, and never told anyone. Such generosities have been known to happen on occasion, as well. Anyway, she’s pretty, isn’t she?

Whomever she is, she is the first pink flower that has evoked major plant lust with her flower alone. As mentioned earlier, it’s almost always cool leaves, structure, texture, fragrance, fall color, what have you, that sways me. But no, this one is entirely about the flower. I think that means that I’m evolving, and capable of change, and of widening my scope. (Which I think is a good thing in just about any arena.) Just so you know, I have another pink object of obsession brewing, (a tiny-leaved, small flowered, climbing rose called ‘Pompon de Paris’ that sports long, arching canes full of miniature, double, fragrant flowers – about the size of a quarter – so I know this sudden ‘pink thing’ not just a one-time infatuation. It’s delicious! My sensibilities really ARE changing…

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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25 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – evolving sensibilities

  1. Such dedication deserves a result

  2. lyart says:

    pretty in pink 🙂

  3. Pauline says:

    I love hardy geraniums and have loads of them. One of our famous gardeners once said ” if in doubt, plant a geranium” and that is what I do!

  4. Tina says:

    That’s the think about gardeners: I think we’re open to loving beauty, wherever we find it and our tastes and sensibilities evolve because we’re open minded. Or so I tell myself. 🙂

  5. Kris P says:

    It’s very pretty – I love the green touch too. I’m guessing that you’ve already tried Robin Parer’s nursery Geraniaceae dot com but, if you haven’t, that’s a good place to check. Here’s my WV:

  6. Tina says:

    *Thing* Ugh. Editing before I send…:)

  7. While I tend to agree with you about pink this is such a pretty little flower. Back in the 1990s I recall seeing Geranium x. oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’ in a few nurseries, Portland Nursery comes to mind. This would have been when the British perennials were still a big thing. We seem to be moving towards more semi-tropicals and natives these days.

    • annamadeit says:

      Interesting…. thank you for that. It all makes sense with the British Perennial thing. Anyway, stoked to have discovered it. Better late than never! 😀

  8. Ha, I didn’t know we shared an aversion to pink flowers. Just last night I posted a photo on Instagram of a pink nicotiana that dared to pop up in my garden, why not green, or chocolate? At least it’s HOT pink though, not sweet soft pink. Oh well…

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Ha! You didn’t know? I think the last time I wore pink was in the 1980’s sometime… Anyway, this latest infatuation surprised me quite a bit, but I was helpless under its spell. Maybe I’m not as stuck in my ways as I thought I was…

  9. Patricia C says:

    Lovely. And I desperately need that now too. Cheers, Anna.

  10. hb says:

    Have always liked pink, and long ago got teased for it unmercifully. But continued to like it anyway. if it’s good enough for bees…

    That’s a lovely Geranium.

    • annamadeit says:

      I’ve wondered a lot about why I’ve had such an aversion to pink. When I was little, I loved it. I have concluded that the reason had more to do with attitude, rather than the color itself – I think I thought it was too sweet, and I was in no mood for sweet. I’m still not entirely there, but things are definitely changing. Maybe my heart is softening, and I get more receptive to it, as I age… ? Not sure, but this one sure knocked my steely attitude off kilter – LOL! Why anyone would tease you about liking it is puzzling to me.

  11. bergstromskan says:

    I have been coming back several times to this pretty little flower, and I finally landed on Malva, family name Malvaceae. There are several varieties, but I could not find one with the lovely green touch in the center on your specimen. Everything else seems right for Malva. Some have escaped from gardens, some are hybrids. I have some kind of Malva blooming in my yard. Will try to take a picture and send you

  12. I also fond of hardy geraniums though I like the blue varieties best. This spring I just planted some ‘Brookside’ – they are still filling in. I generally don’t like pink flowers either though occasionally I’ll make an exception.

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