Along for the ride:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flower Power!

Sunday was Hot as Hell! I like my share of sunshine, but waking up at 6:30 am to ingest an Alka Seltzer (we overdid the din-dins and drinky-poos Saturday night), it was already 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Discretion being surely the better part of valor in this case, I gave up on my 9am riding lesson and went back to bed for an hour. We subsequently spent a lazy day, mostly indoors, as it was too hot to even enjoy the pool.
The result of all that added calorific sunshine to the neighborhood's already well fed and watered plants has been a "bloom-boom" and waves of aggressive perfumery that would make a Triffid feel embarrassed at it's own paltry attempt at post-apocalyptic World domination, in comparison.
Yesterday, although ten degrees cooler than the triple digits of the day before, it was still nice and toasty as I set out in the morning with my old furry dog to complete our morning rounds of the 'Hood.
First off, my next-door neighbor has jasmine as ground cover. Wham! Into a solid wall of fragrance. Surviving that caramel-sweet encounter we moved slowly on, passing nuclear powered English Roses and almost succumbing to the nauseating droning fragrance of Mexican Orange; the "B" list of citrus smells. We hadn't yet made it to the end of the block and it was obvious that there was some kind of teeth-baring face-off going on, to decide who would be Alpha Aroma plant for the day.
Continuing bravely into the olfactory essences; unmitigated by the slightest wisp of air movement; we rounded the bend into a staccato hail of Gardenia gunshots, the source recognizable by the telltale creamy-white muzzle flashes in the dark green foliage. Ducking for cover we made it into a place of temporary respite; a garden planted with drought tolerant native plants on one side and, on the other, the fried-to-a-crisp remains of what just yesterday was a spectacular display of bearded iris.
Into the home stretch now, although mauled by undiluted honeysuckle and pursued by Peonies; which I usually liken to the magic drops placed on the eyelids to enhance the experience of a Midsummer Night's Dream; but on this day was so strong as to be a shockingly noisome Bitch-slap of scent. One last effort to get past the high-pitched exhuberance of Sweet-Peas and thankfully back into the house, whence to recover from the woozy and pscychadelic effects brought on without ever having smoked a thing. Whew!


  1. Holy cow! That was some "trip!" I was smelling right along with you, although, unfortunately for me...sneezing too. Those scents would have overpowered my allergy sysem as well. I don't have as many blooms here so they seem to come one fragrance at time. The lilacs were delightful this year, though.

  2. I got a glimpse of the sun too, just as well, I'd almost forgotten what it looked like here in the Loire,


    PS Lovely post.

  3. My goodness, it sounds like a real jungle out there ! Are you sure that was an Alka-Seltzer you took ? It wasn't something that may have been laying around in medicine cabinet since the 1960's ? Or perhaps a case of product tampering occurred...?

    Well, maybe neither of above causes are at the origin of this, and you just have a keen nose and imaginative writing skills... yet even the art you attached seems to be straight out of the 60' Haight Ashbury. Nice piece of art btw, where did it come from ?

    The last time I read anything quite so vivid, was a while back reading Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception"... or in the pages of Carlos Castaneda, or Tom Wolfe's "Electric Kool Aid Acid Test"...

  4. Golly, din-dins and drinky poos, mention of pool and a scent assault on the senses, you poor thing, how do you cope?
    By the way, Mexican Orange, or Choisya (as it is known amongst the better class of Blighty gardeners) is one of the smelly highlights of my year. "B" class, indeed.
    Something else to make you feel good: low temperatures and cold windy rain, was my lot here in Shropshire at the weekend and still gardener and I persevered. But, do go and have a look over at mine to see what I had for lunch today.

  5. reading this made me feel so incredibly miffed!... we have had seven days of mostly rain, when it's not raining the sky is exactly twelve and a half foot over your head. The temperature has barely dragged it's arse over ten degrees and we have had a fire lit every evening... What is it about the weather that is such an emotive thing! I really enjoyed reading this post.. I just got very jealous at the end! I need light...

  6. Watercats & GG: I try not to belabour the sunshine etc. too often as I am aware the rest of the world is not as blessed. It was brutally hot for a couple of days, 100 F/ almost 40C in the SHADE. It set me off.
    Friko, Owen & Jean: I am sooo glad I got someone's goat! I had thought Owen might go for my Triffid analogy but he went right for the 60's stoner reference section. For the record I have never even smoked tobacco, let alone anything else. Goofy enough without medicinal enhancements. Mex. Orange is sicklier smelling than real citrus, more invasive to me. Yes, I have both an accute sense of smell and some allergies too. The picture was from a google search for pscychedelic images and had no name attached.
    p.s. Go see The Gavin Report in my blogs I follow. I found it had a very familiar piece of art. It is appropriate to her story too, as detailed in her earliest entry. I hope she writes more.

  7. Hi EF, you mean as in "The Day of the Triffids" by Mr Wyndham ? Haven't quite gotten around to reading that one, so I concede, I failed to catch the reference and was too lazy this morning before heading to work to look up what I took to be some esoteric exotic form of flora that I'd never heard of... and besides, the 60's stoner material was too redolent, if I may use the word. Funny, I dashed off the above note before running out the door to work, but this evening totally be chance just came across this blog ... and if you go two or three posts down her page, you'll see why it caught my eye...

  8. Owen, I will look in more detail tomorrow, or you can "name that post". It didn't appear to me at first glance.
    You never read Day of the Triffids? It captured my imagination. It was the beginning of my "post-apocalyptic sci-fi" phase (Dune et al)
    When I first arrived in Brittany, years later, and saw artichoke plants, I thought: Triffids!
    I am sure it would be hopelessly dated now, but it was significant for me then.
    Fun corresponding with you!