Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing–
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.
That’s from a poem called May Night by Sara Teasdale, but though it’s October, here in Australia, where it's spring, the sentiments are just as apt.
Anne here, in a contemplative mood. It’s a gorgeous time of year — spring and autumn are my two favorite seasons. Here, after several days of rain, the sun has come out and a gentle breeze is wafting the most gorgeous fragrances through my open window.
One of my favorites is lily of the valley with its gorgeous scent. My former neighbor had a huge spreading patch in her otherwise regimented garden, and each spring she'd bring me a bunch that would fill my home with fragrance.
Another favorite is lilac, and I loved the way that every spring the bare branches would bud first with soft green leaves and then vibrant, deliciously scented spikes of flowers. The photo above is of the lilac on my old garden. now sadly gone, but not forgotten.
My lemon tree is laden with fruit, the golden orbs hanging luscious and heavy, and sitting outside on my deck, I can smell a hint of the fruit on the breeze. I’m using the lemons for all kinds of dishes. I might even make lemon cordial (lemonade?). I used to make it every year, but haven’t for a long time now. The leaves, when crushed, are also quite fragrant. They can be used in cooking but for some reason, I’ve never done it. Now might be the time to try it.
My sage is in full purple flower, attracting the bees, which I hope will also pollinate my other vegetables that are currently in flower. I love having a productive garden, and though mine is quite small, I am currently harvesting broad beans, spinach, silver beet, mint and parsley. It’s very satisfying to harvest, cook and eat my own vegies.
Up until a few days ago I had wisteria flowering on my back fence — not a lot, just a few clumps that came over from my neighbor’s garden. I took this photo, which was lucky, because the vety next morning the flowers were gone — the possums had found them.
Possums love to eat flowers, especially scented ones, like roses and magnolias, and wisteria. Doesn’t that sound like a lovely diet? Of course they eat other things, like fruit, and lemon peel—yes, peel, not the fruit, just the peel. Last year they nibbled the entire peel from my lemons, leaving the fruit hanging intact, showing only the pith.
My native plants are also in flower — the kangaroo paw is lovely. I have two clumps—orange/gold, and dark red. They’re called kangaroo paws for obvious reasons — the flowers really do look just like the paws of kangaroos, and they're furry – velvety.
The silver princess gum tree out the front has the most beautiful flowers. Later they will become silver gumnuts — really, there is no part of this tree that is not beautiful, from the gracefully hanging leaves, to the silver bark and gumnuts. Whenever I have to prune it—it has a tendency to dangle over the footpath— I bring the prunings inside and put them in vases — they last for ages and look so lovely. The tree is a constant delight to me, all year around.
The scent of gumleaves (eucalyptus) is something that speaks to most Australians. For me, it is the scent of “the bush,” meaning the forested wilderness. Of course, the scent of the bush is made up of a wide variety of fragrant plants, plus the aroma of damp earth and bark and all sorts, but the underlying scent is that of eucalypts.
I remember, many years ago, when I’d been traveling for a year or so, I was on Corfu, in Greece, and I came across a large lemon scented gum tree. I must have been a bit homesick, because I scooped up some fallen leaves, crushed them in my hands, closed my eyes, and inhaled the fragrance — and I was home. I still remember that moment. I even kept some of the leaves.
What about you? Is there a particular fragrance that signals “home” to you? What seasonal scents are you experiencing at the moment? What's your favorite thing about this time of year?