Fragrances and Flowers

roses

Even though the rainy season has not officially begun yet, my roses have decided to get a head start and they’ve  been happily blooming for the past few weeks. I’m certain that it’s in response to the fertilizer I applied over a month ago.  They were quick to show their gratitude for the nourishment, bless their fragrant little hearts and I didn’t have long to wait before I began to see buds popping up on almost every single one of them. I honestly felt guilty for having been forgetful with the fertilizer lately. A couple of weeks ago I went out to the garden, scissors in hand and began to snip off bloom after bloom, tossing them into a water filled plastic bucket to keep them fresh under the blazing sun until I could get them in the house and into vases. I guess I must have gotten carried away because I didn’t realize I had cut so many until I brought them inside and began to separate them by colors.

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The best thing of all was the heavenly fragrance! The whole house was perfumed with a myriad of different rose scents some light and lemony, others more heady and intense. I am always in awe of the smell of flowers and can’t help being dissapointed when I come across one that has no fragrance.

13roses

I was tempted to leave them all lying on the counter in a lovely disorganized mess but I needed the countertops for other things and they desperately needed water to quench their perpetual thirst.

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These went into a crystal vase and onto the round dining room table in the smaller dining room.

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These dark violet roses with a delightful lemony scent were placed on top of the piano in a goblet with a matching violet stem.

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Others were set atop the kitchen island

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Pastel colored roses were put into a little cut crystal Mikasa vase and set on a countertop

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The fiery orange roses were placed in a globe shaped container with dark blue glass pebbles for contrast

blue pebbles

This is the nearest to black rose I have ever seen. They didn’t tell me the name of it when I bought it at a local nursery but I think it might be Black Baccara. The blooms are on the smallish side but the unusual shade more than makes up for that. They aren’t really black, as there is no such thing as a black rose. But when the buds are closed most of them really do start out quite black. As they open, the petals begin to turn a deep dark blood red at the base, but the tips always remain black. I put it next to a couple of yellow Queen Elizabeth roses for contrast in a matching yellow stemmed glitter goblet.

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yellow vase

But it’s not just the roses that have been blooming. Other residents of the garden are flaunting their colors too.  These bright blue hydrangeas bloom year round here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them without any flowers and they seem to thrive in the humid foggy weather up at the mountain house. Sometimes when I get tired of blue I let the flower heads dry on the plants and then dip dye them in different colors.

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Hollyhocks were blooming in my city garden. That’s very unusual because I don’t think hollyhocks normally like tropical weather . But they seem to be oblivious to the heat and they have grown almost as tall as the house. I planted these from seed that I ordered on Ebay. I have never grown hollyhocks down here in my city garden before where it’s so much warmer than our mountain house. I wondered if they’d make good cut flowers. I discovered that they aren’t as long lasting as other flowers but they look pretty in a vase for at least a couple of days.

hollyhocks

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These are ruffly hollyhocks in a darker shade of pink than the other ones. They are just beggining to bloom.

double hollyhocks

My potted bougainvillea hadn’t bloomed in over a year and I didn’t know why. I fertilized it, watered it, pruned it, scolded it and still no flowers. Then I read that bougainvilleas need quite a bit of sun in order to bloom, so I moved it over to a sunny spot in the courtyard and within a week the flowers began to appear.

bougainvillea

Then there is the frangipani. Oh the intoxicating fragrance of this beautiful flower! It’s just impossible to describe it in words. Sometimes I go out to the patio on warm evenings just to inhale the delicious perfume that  hangs and lingers heavily in the air.  It’s so much stronger at night. The flowers burst forth in clusters, like little ready made scented bouquets just waiting to be put in a vase. I always thought that frangipani (or plumeria as it’s also called) was a hawaiian flower because it’s what leis are made with. But I was surprised to discover that its not native to the South Pacific at all, but rather to Central America, where I live. No wonder it thrives in my garden.

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silver tray

These giant Amaryllis have been piled inside this plastic bucket without any soil for over a year. I dug up about 50 bulbs last year and replanted most of them in a different location but I got lazy with these last few bulbs and forgot about them. Much to my surprise, they bloomed anyway despite the neglect.

amaryllis

This waxy ivory water lily with a yellow center grew from a seed that I ordered from China. Actually four of them germinated and grew into adult plants but as is common with seed grown water lilies the new plant is never the same as the parent plants. Two of my seed grown lilies have bloomed but I was dissapointed with the first one because it produced an insignificant little flower about the size of a quarter, barely visible among the giant pads. However, the second plant produced large showy cream colored flowers that look lovely floating gracefully on the tranquil surface of the pond and the leaves themselves are beautiful, speckled and multi shaded. Since it is a new and yet un-named variety of water lily grown from seed, I was free to name it anything I wanted. So I named it Samia Gamal, like the famous Egyptian dancer of the 1940s who also seemed to float gracefully when she danced.

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samia gamal 1

And that, dear friends is what has been blooming in my neck of the woods lately.-

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Joining:

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Saturday Show Off at Rose Garden in Malevik

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5 thoughts on “Fragrances and Flowers

  1. Priscilla I enjoyed reading your beautifully written post along with seeing the amazing scattering of beauty throughout your home of roses. Our growing season has just begun so I am in awe of your gardens yield. I will replay your prose “they desperately needed water to quench their perpetual thirst” everytime I go outside to water my flowers and think of you.
    I want to be graced by a bouquet of dark Violet with their lemony scent but sadly have never seen them in our area. Nor have I’ve seen Black Baccara, imagine a dinner party near Halloween with a bouquet of them on the dining room table. Absolutely bewitching! I adore Blue Hydrangeas and once had a container full turn into Pink. I corrected the situation with controlling the soil nutrients and added coffee grinds. Your Bougainvillea rewarded you with their move. Oh and your Water Lily you named Samis Gamal … Be still my heart. You nuture nature beautifully my friend.
    xoxo,
    Vera

    • Thanks for stopping by Vera and for your kind comment! I’ve never thought of making a Halloween bouquet with the black baccara roses but I love that idea! I really had to smile when you mentioned the pink hydrangeas because I have longed for one for years and I’ve done everything in my power to get mine to turn pink but they simply won’t! Hyrangeas are very common in Costa Rica and most houses have at least one hydrangea bush in their garden but I have never, ever seen a pink one here anywhere. I don’t know if it’s the soil, or if they are all just a blue variety of hydrangea but I’d be the envy of all my neighbors if I could get one to bloom pink!

    • The link didn’t work but I googled the gardenista website and was able to locate the article! I did the soil ph test that they recommended (with the vinegar) and wasn’t surprised to discover that my soil is acidic, hence the blue hydrangeas everywhere around here. I am definitely going to try the garden lime they suggest, to see if I can make them turn pink!

  2. Your flowers are so beautiful. Between the color’s and varieties they are a burst of fragrant beauty. I envy your gardening talent, i used to throw pottery from Arizona Red clay and fire it in the kiln but that was many years ago. The city of Philadelphia doesn’t allow residential kilns and if you take the risk of owning one and a fire occurs insurance is void. You are right it is expensive to take and have fired. So baking at 275 degrees for 20 minutes per 1/4 inch in my oven works for me ;-D
    xoxo,
    Vera

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