Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plants I'm Growing--First Blooms: Rosa Mutabilis Chinensis, Salvia "Point Sal Spreader"

Rosa mutabilis chinensis--mutable Chinese rose--this plant is called, and it's well named. The buds are a rusty dull red. The flowers open a pinkish-red and then fade almost to white through shades of pink and cream.

Does anyone still use the language of flowers? There was a time when people communicated with flowers--or so we are told. How many people today know what the flowers are supposed to mean? The rose, perhaps, has more meanings than any other flower, usually depending on its color: Red for passion and romantic love; pink for somewhat less ardent love; white for virtue and chastity; yellow given as a token of friendship cherished, friendship longed for. What then would be the meaning of inconstant Rosa mutabilis? I do not know.

Rosa mutabilis first bloomed here on April 15 last year. This year, the first bud opened on March 19, yesterday. A year, according to this rose, was therefore only 338 days--by far the shortest year any plant in the garden has so far calculated. Impatient rose.

First blooms today on Salvia leucophylla "Point Sal Spreader." This has proved an extremely reliable large salvia. It has survived our droughty summers with little coddling (almost none) and has been happy at temperatures as low as 23 degrees F. The foliage generally stays fresh looking except at the very end of the long, hot summer. The delicate lavender flowers contrast nicely with the fuzzy bluish leaves.

Salvia leucophylla first bloomed on April 4 in 2009. A year according to this plant was 350 days--another comparatively short year. 

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