Today’s guest post comes from Renee in North Dakota.
Earlier this week my husband asked if I thought Grover needed to be tied up, since he was going to mow the lawn and Grover was flopping around all over the place.
Grover, full name Grover Cleveland, is an unusual, blood-red peony.
He is planted in close proximity to Beverly Sills, the frilly pink German Bearded Iris, and not too far from Sarah Bernhardt, a pale pink peony that hasn’t started blooming yet. Just around the corner is Cuthbert Grant, a red shrub rose from the Morden Experiment Station in southern Manitoba, one of the Canadian Explorer series of roses. Cuthbert Grant was a Scottish Metis who worked for various fur trading companies in Manitoba and who was involved in the bloody Battle of Seven Oaks, in which settlers and Metis battled the Hudson’s Bay Company. Given his warrior history I can see why they named a deep red rose after him.
We often refer to various plants by their given names. I like it when they are named after people. We had a hybrid tea rose named Harry G. Hastings for many years. I guess Harry Hastings was a famous plantsman in Alabama or Georgia. It was a sad day when Harry didn’t bud out in the Spring. Since we called him by his first name for so many years it was sort of like losing a member of the family, or a close friend.
Grover is a very pretty, old fashioned peony that is really red, not raspberry or maroon or magenta, like most red peonies. You can see him and Beverly in one of the photos. Husband tells me that Cleveland was the only president who got married while in office, and also was the only president who was reelected after getting voted out of office. Was he chubby and red faced? Is that why they named this peony after him? I can see why Beverly the Iris got her name, as well as Sarah Bernhardt the peony.
I suppose that naming a new plant variety is a complicated affair and finding the right name is important for business. I think it would be fun to name plants. Think of all the friends, family, and historical figures you could give a nod to by naming a plant after them. Were I plant hybridizer trying to market, say, a new variety of horseradish, I might name it “Tim” describing it as sharp and piquant, and an enthusiastic propagator.
What variety of plant would you like to name, and what would you name it, and why?