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.

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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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A Weird Ebay Experience

The photos of my waterlilies don't have anything to do with this post but they are colorful, aren't they? hee

The photos of my waterlilies don’t have anything to do with this post but they are colorful, aren’t they? 

I’ve been buying things on Ebay since about 2001 or so. My friends and family laugh because I have been able to score some pretty good deals over the years. I actually buy pretty much everything on Ebay mostly because it allows me to shop from home and my purchases are delivered right to my door. Can’t get more convenient than that. Also, alot of things aren’t available locally so it’s nice to be able to purchase them online.  I would say that about 99% of my Ebay purchases have been satisfactory. Last month I was browsing Ebay looking for a few things that I wanted to buy, among them a small shelf for my bathroom that I intended to paint ivory to match the mirror above the vanity. So after searching for a few days I came across a listing for one of those little vintage 70s shelves at the starting price of 99 cents plus 20 dollars for shipping. That sounded about right and it was more or less what most sellers were asking for these little shelves…..about 20 to 25 dollars shipping and all. The description said that it was chipped but I figured that was ok because I was going to paint it anyway and the chip probably wouldn’t be visible. I placed my bid and won, as nobody else bid on it. A couple of days later I get a message from the seller informing me that she (I’m fairly certain it’s a she) was unable to ship it out for the price that was listed on the auction page and seeing as how I won it for only 99 cents, could I send her X amount of additional money for shipping otherwise she would have to cancel the sale. In almost 15 years of buying on Ebay, this was a first.  So, I messaged her back and told her that no, I wasn’t willing to pay more than 20 dollars for shipping and that it wasn’t cool to cancel and refund for this reason as now I would lose money on the currency conversion (twice) because I pay with an international Paypal account and I am charged a conversion fee for every conversion into dollars or back. Next thing I know, I get another message from her this time in an unpleasant and sarcastic tone, telling me that the “math” was easy, she wasn’t making any profit from the deal, Ebay was charging her a fee and it would be stupid for her to lose money just so that I could get a “tacky shelf “. (Yes, those were her words) She accused me of not being understanding and then told me that I obviously had difficulty “doing the math” being from Florida and all.  I really have no clue what being from Florida has to do with doing math…I’m not from Florida and have never lived there, although my Ebay courier service is located in Miami and that’s where my Ebay purchases are delivered and then forwarded to me. So she must have assumed that I lived there. Whatever.

Wanvisa water lily

Wanvisa water lily

I messaged her back and in my politest tone told her that it’s not my responsibility to “do the math” because I’m not the seller. It’s actually her responsibility to calculate all her costs before posting a listing on Ebay. I told her that a business transaction was a business transaction and didn’t carry with it a responsibility for the buyer to be understanding. It is also a violation of Ebay rules for a seller to ask a buyer to send additional money on the side and that in skimming over her feedback score, I noticed that I was not the only person that she had done this to. But in any case, if she wanted to cancel the transaction then go ahead. That spurred a barrage of insults in her next message where she called me among other epithets an “entitled jerk” who was unecessarily stalking her feedback.  I ended up just ignoring her and her rants and had to wait 5 days for Paypal to issue me a refund.

Well, it was a no brainer that I was going to leave this seller  negative feedback considering all the uncalled for insults, my loss of money and her violation of Ebay rules. I thought that would be the end of that. No so.

Antares water lily

Antares water lily

When I went to leave the feedback, I noticed that she had written a lengthy comment on her Ebay profile page where she had included my Ebay seller ID, my husband’s full name that appears on our Ebay account and our Florida shipping address. I was horrified that anyone would be deranged enough to do this. She had put all this personal and confidential information in a paragraph stating that she was selling stuff on Ebay to help someone that had cancer, and that my husband HATED (she wrote that in capital letters) cancer victims. And that he liked to STEAL from cancer victims. (again in capital letters) She also admonished buyers not to be cancer victim haters like XXX XXXX (My husband’s name)  WTF?? I had no idea what she was talking about or how the subject went from a failed transaction into a supposed persecution of cancer victims but I immediately telephoned Ebay to alert them because posting personal information is a serious violation of Ebay policy and grounds for suspending the seller. They gave her 24 hours to remove it. Thankfully she did, but now she has replaced it with something about being a cancer fighter and about the “sub-human” buyer who hates people with cancer and who left her negative feedback.  Talk about lunatics.  Sadly she doesn’t seem to realize that her ridiculous rant will only scare away potential customers because it makes her sound quite deranged and it calls even more attention to the negative feedback comments (mine was not the only one)  that might otherwise not even be seen. In the end, I will just buy another shelf from one of the many pleasant and polite (and sane!)  sellers on Ebay and she will have to live with the negative feedback.

Wish I knew the name of this one

Wish I knew the name of this one