Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Gerbera “Madame 5 by 5”
And why in the world am I buying gerberas? They are not dependably hardy here, so that rules out their use as garden plants. I suspect that they will not bloom once the night temperatures go up.
But this plant combines a spectacular flower with an improbable plant size so well that it’s irresistible. Do you know who Madame 5 by 5 was? That was one name used for the early twentieth century opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini. As a singer she was spectacular, and the recordings exist to prove this. As her celebrity grew so did her girth. Short to begin with, at the height of her fame she was very well rounded indeed! Her name survives, outside the rather esoteric world of those of us who still listen to recordings made a century ago, as a name for certain pasta preparations for which, as you might suspect, a proper serving is, shall we say, copious.
So in this garden, Madame 5 by 5 it is. Now I’ll go listen to Tetrazzini’s wonderful recording of Tosti’s song “Aprile”.