Charles Darwin wrote about roses in his The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, but I’m guessing he didn’t expect a variety would be named in his honour.
I stumbled upon these today in the gardens of the Huntington (Library, Art Collection, Botanical Gardens) Estate in San Marino. According to this rose dealer, the variety is hardy, with a ‘strong and delicious fragrance that varies between a soft, floral Tea and almost pure lemon according to weather conditions’. Sounds like it would be right at home at Darwin’s former home in Kent (where it may indeed be for all I know). Whatever. Compared to some of the other blooms on show today, most of which were wilted or entirely dropped off in the December chill, these Darwin specials are putting up a pretty good show.
Contrary to popular opinion, the British aren’t all manic gardeners, and I wouldn’t ordinarily get over-excited about a rose garden. But spurred on by the father of evolution, I scouted out a few more scientifically inspired varieties. Marie Curie is hanging in there but looking the worse for wear:
Leonardo needs some tidying:
The geologist’s choice looks the part:
Arctic explorers only:
Then a few others that aren’t really scientific but I find interesting, intriguing or odd – I didn’t expect to find ‘Pimlico’ and the ‘Radio Times’ in California – included:
Whisky Mac, Anne Boleyn, Radio Times, Brilliant Pink Iceberg, Brownie, Everest Double Fragrance, Moon Shadow, Bewitched, Pimlico ’81, Amelia Earhart, The Doctor, School Girl, Yellowstone, Octoberfest, Charles Dickens, Dynamite, and Smiles.
Maybe gardening’s not so boring after all.