This above photo is one teensy slice of a veritable wall of honey suckle which has climbed over
the wall at the back of our yard. Obviously it originated in the hard of the people who live behind (and oddly beside) us but it has decided to come visit us instead. A welcome visitor indeed. I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am. Not only is it a very pretty flower, but the fragrance is amazing. Bees love it, butterflies love it and I am delighted with it as well.
When the windows on the back of the house are open, the scent wafts inside. It is fresh and sweet and light and absolutely lovely.
In the front of our house is an enormous jasmine which is currently in full bloom as well. So anytime I step out to, say, water my potted garden, or fetch the mail or bring in the mail, I get a snootful of the heavier, more exotic and heavenly fragrance of that flower. I did the grocery shopping yesterday and when I arrived home, the instant I opened the car door, there it was, the unmistakable scent of Jasmine. I admit that I lingered while bringing in the groceries and it was only fear of melted ice cream (of course I bought ice cream...have we met?) that kept me moving.
Taking a walk around the island right now is like walking through a Very Large perfume store. As we walk, I take deep breaths to bring in, as fully as possible, one delightful scent after another. The advantage while walking around town is that the source is immediately identifiable. I detect a lovely fragrance, look around and aha! There it is!
But when Joy and I are hiking, it isn't quite the same thing. Because the forests are usually so densely packed with layer upon layer upon layer of greenery of every shape, size and colour imaginable. Usually it just smells like forest. You know, green and lush and earthy which is marvelous all on it's own. But every once in awhile, as we are walking along, I will detect something different, something floral and wonderful and it brings me to a complete halt. I look around and....... I see nothing other than greenery. Where is it? What is it? And usually, we never find the source. It's there somewhere, we can smell it! But it's probably many layers back in the wild. Dang.
We try to stick pretty close to the trails. For one thing, the rangers prefer that we do. Fair enough. Also, it is unbelievably easy to get lost once you step off the trail. For another reason, we are sharing that space with real wild life. They try to stay off the trails to avoid us. So it's reasonable to expect us to stay on the trails to avoid them.
But dang it, I wanted to take a photo of the flower creating that lovely smell. You see, I have this very cool feature on my phone (you probably do too) where I can take a photo and then hit a particular button and it immediately identifies the subject. Bird, flower, plant, doesn't matter. Very cool. But if I cannot find the source of the scent, I cannot take the photo, which means I cannot identify and therefore learn. I love to learn new things. I don't always remember everything I learn, but I still love learning it.
It's partly just for the love of learning. That's just a part of me. It's typed right onto my DNA. It's why, even though I rarely remember what Joy tells me when she identifies birds and bugs while we hike, I encourage her to keep telling me. Eventually it might sink in.
But with flowers and trees and plants especially, it important to me for another reason. I have this dream garden in my head. And sometimes, at night, when I cannot sleep, I plan it out. This tree over there and these flowers over here, and the arbor with this vine growing over it and a bench in this corner and.......like that. The dream garden, in my imagination, has plenty of different sorts of greenery, trees and shrubs and grassy areas, but it also has flowering things, fragrant things. A rainbow of colours and a confusion of scents and those things will attract birds and butterflies and bees and I can sit on my future dream patio and enjoy it all.
So I have been sort of keeping a catalogue of sorts in my head of various native (or at least adaptable) flowers and plants and trees for my dream garden. Honey suckle and jasmine, by the way, are already on the list. Just in case I ever come into big money (the garden of my dreams requires some serious $$$) I will be ready to build my garden.
I should say gardens. Plural. I definitely need more than one. Of course I would need a kitchen garden which would naturally be just off the kitchen, with herbs and edible flowers and a nice little patio to for creative contemplation. And a fountain garden with moving water and potted flowers, bird baths and some flowering trees that have benches underneath. There would be flower gardens for cutting, and other gardens with flowers to specifically NOT be cut. Generous lawns with arbors bearing the weight of honey suckle or morning glory or wisteria. Maybe I need three arbors? A gazebo for taking tea, a hammock for dreaming and surprise benches tucked into corner and around curves in the path for sitting quietly. I need a vegetable garden and perhaps a green house for year round fresh salad material. Oh I could go on and on but I will resist the urge.
I know, I know, it sounds crazy, it sounds insane, it sounds unattainable! But isn't that the point of a dream? To wish for something that is out of reach, at least for now. Oh I know that I most probably will never actually have my dream garden. But I will always have my dream. And sometimes, that's fine too.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.