Sweet Summer Perfume


Continuing this year’s theme of missing things, or catching them at the tail-end of their show, I almost let the mockorange pass by without notice or comment. That would have been unforgivable, as it produces the sweet scent of summer – and it reminds me of some joyful moments. It is said that scent is one of the most powerful memory-triggers, and I’ve certainly found that to be true. (I’d reckon that music is up there too, as there are some songs that bring me instantly back to the past.)

In a slight defense of my absentmindedness when it comes to the mockorange blooms, this is not their strongest year as far as blooms go. They had to be pruned back hard a year or two ago, so they are still recovering. As they bloom on old wood, pruning can wipe out future crops of blossoms. That’s all right – it makes me appreciate them more on the good years. The undulation of the garden keeps everything interesting, ad offers a breather in an off-year.

Strangely, the two robust specimens I planted when we first moved in are actually the ones producing the fewest blooms, while the two run-down clumps that were here when we purchased the house are throwing out a few more blossoms. I like that. It keeps me on my toes.

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