French garden diary - June 2019

A female rose by any other name - Cathy Thompson on variety names and flowers that flourish in her own garden

A few years ago I was taken to task by someone who reads my gardening blog for referring to a rose as ‘she’. While I understand the resistance to anthropomorphising a creature that does not even have a pulse, it is hard to avoid the temptation when you have a garden in which ‘Mme Isaac Péreire’, ‘Mme Alfred Carrière’, ‘Louise Odier’ and ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ flounce about.

My garden is populated by real and fictional personalities and it does not stop with roses. I dare anyone who looks knowingly at a seedling of ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ (Eryngium giganteum) to avoid using the pronoun ‘she’.

Moreover, I cannot forget that Euphorbia ...

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