When we purchased our first home in Northern California back in 1994, my only requirement regarding the gardens was "if it isn't fragrant, I don't want it."
I've always been "nasally-inclined," with a sharp sense of smell and - sometimes - hyper-violent reactions to odors (read: vomiting). I can only last about a minute in most cutesy home decor and candle shops before needing an exorcist.
I also have the stupid habit of jamming something right up to (and sometimes into) my nose when taking a whiff. This led to the infamous Glade air freshener/fainting/split forehead on office desk incident of 1987, which we don't discuss.
But I can lose myself for hours, sitting under a lilac bush, wandering a rose garden or nuzzling a wisteria. I just love gorgeous, fragrant flowers.
Beginning in February/March, when the gardening and home improvement stores start carrying potted hot house daffodils and hyacinths (my favorite!) to keep snow-blind and winter-weary Easterners from killing themselves as a result of cabin fever - a steady stream of hyacinths begins to appear on my desk and at my bedside.
Brian knows that - more than anything - I love to drift off to sleep with the heady aroma of flowers surrounding me.
As a floral designer for years, he never used to even notice the smell. Now he does and has come to appreciate my passion.
Our garden is packed with gorgeous flowers - the hothouse hyacinths of years past have joined the denizens of our gardens and now produce dozens of gorgeous hyacinths each Spring. Joining them in their scent-sual glory each year are magnolias, lilacs, tulips, daffodils, peonies, mock orange, autumn-blooming clematis, sages and bushy herbs.
We also seem to have cornered the market on David Austin roses - those lovely, cabbage-y old English roses. With scents so deep and so musky and so ... I'm at a loss for words. But they are beautiful and they are fragrant. At last count, I believe we have 17 Davids Austin roses on the property - plus another three tea roses.
So it's always a big deal when the first in-house arrangement arrives from our garden.
This year's first bedside arrangement consists of garden and pineapple sages; poppies; and Abraham Darby, Geoff Hamilton and Double Delight roses. (click photo to embiggen)
The desk arrangement feature garden sage; peonies; and Winchester Cathedral and Falstaff roses.
I have a ton of new garden photos to upload to Flickr. Ah well - as Scarlett O'Hara always said, there's always tomorrow.
'til then - don't forget to stop and smell the flowers!!