Saturday, August 12, 2006

Where the mild things grow

My older daughter has fond memories of a large fig tree that grew in a special backyard of her childhood. She planted this tree last year in a corner of my backyard. It's still small, but it's producing enough fruit to feed her appetite and her soul.

She also planted this tangelo tree, still a scrawny thing in its second year. All of its energy seems to be going into fruit production and none into the expansion of its own height and breadth. It might have grown larger if we'd nipped some of the fruits in the bud, literally, but that would have seemed like a lack of gratitude to a little tree that was obviously trying so hard. Maybe next year.

The gardenia has been blooming for months now, but the summer heat is taking its toll. This blossom, the brightest on the bush, seems faded in comparison to the earlier flowers. But close your eyes and take a whiff. The fragrance is as bold and fresh as ever.

Our neighbor planted the morning glories on the fence between our homes. The vines creep out longer each day, the tendrils reaching out from the fence and seeking purchase on the driveway. In the evenings I notice the encroaching vines. In the mornings, all I see is brilliant blue-purple flowers raising their faces to the sun. Glory, indeed!


  1. Oh, what memories, Velvet! I grew up in the city and every spring the botanical garden would offer seeds for sale in our elementary school - 3 cents a packet. I remember growing blue morning glories in a pot on my windowsill. Not very sunny in that alley, so the flowers were not much, but I was so happy when they bloomed!

    In back of my grandparents's property in Provence, there was a grove of fig and almond trees on the edge of a vineyard. Those figs were delicious - to the point of tummyache! But so worth it. Enjoy yours.

    Then there are the gardenias. I can still smell the scent of gardenias from my wedding bouquet, 28 years ago. I love those flowers, but I've killed several of those poor plants up here, too cold.

    Thanks so much for these random flashbacks of my past. Your beautiful photography captured it all, exactly right.

  2. Ahh, thanks for the refreshment!

  3. I could indeed smell the gardenias. Please post their photos often, we can't grow them here! Carmon

  4. that was very nice ( Aussie exhales a deep sigh with content). Have you ever read something and you could feel every rise and fall of emotion, every word flowing one to the other as you hang on to the one past but look forward to the one up next??? this is one of those writings. Girl, you blow me away sometimes.


  5. How lovely to see the gardenia and morning glory, both refuse to grow in my garden. I know excatly what you mean about trees and their memories, my garden is full of them, as is any garden that has had small children growing up in them. Lovely photos. :)

  6. Sunflower, thanks for sharing. It's always fun to learn which words or photos strike a familiar chord in someone else. Kind of ties us all together somehow.

    Janet, you're VERY welcome.

    Carmon, we lost the last gardenia bush we tried to grow, but this one's been putting on a show for us. I think our mild winter helped a lot to give it a head start. Maybe we'll manage to keep this one alive.

    Austin, thank you, that was lovely. I'll work harder now to be a better writer and one day deserve comments like yours.

    Sandy, I enjoyed the trees and the flowers around the home where I grew up, but I also took them for granted. It's only in retrospect that I really understand and appreciate the way they colored my world.


Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.