Mrs. G. W. Leak

May 1, 2012 | 1 comment

     She’s pink and showy and feminine, but she is dark at the core.  When she’s in our house, be it in the library or the dining room, she tends to dominate the conversation.  And, she has great staying power – fresh and perky for days at a time.  She is Mrs. G. W. Leak, one of my favorite rhododendron friends.
     I’m ashamed to say that, though she has been visiting us each spring for twenty or thirty years, I just learned her name day before yesterday.  Suzanne Knutzen was here for our House Concert on Sunday and she turned to me during a period of prolonged applause and said, “Mrs. G. W. Leak.”  I had no idea what she was talking about, but at the intermission she explained.
     “Those rhodies with the dark centers on your mantle are Mrs. G. W. Leaks.”  Suzanne worked at Clarke’s Nursery for several years (before she started teaching?) and she knew Mrs. Leak very well, indeed.  I was happy for the introduction.
     We have several big – make that really big —  Mrs. G. W. Leak rhododendron bushes.  Even though their blossoms come on shortly before the Jean Maries, I have to admit that I pay a lot more attention to the latter variety. When it comes to cut flowers, though, there is no comparison.
     The bright red Jean Maries go limp within a day or two.  I’ve never found a way to keep them from withering almost before they are in the vase. The Mrs. G. W. Leaks, on the other hand, stay plump and lush looking for up to a week.  They are lovely, long-lasting, and a bit taken for-granted in this household, I’m afraid.
     But, you know how it is.  The lady in red gets all the attention, whether or not she has much staying power.  Or at least that’s the way it is among our rhododendrons here in Oysterville.   And why is that that Mrs. Leak is known only by her husband’s name, anyway?

1 Comment

  1. fern

    Thanks for this little tidbit of knowledge! I went right out and cut myself a bouquet after reading your blog, and they still look beautiful 2 days later!


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