Orange Blossoms….How Scent Evokes Sweet Memories

It’s said that scent can evoke feelings and memories from years ago…and I know just how true that is. Growing up I spent holidays and summers with my grandparents in the central California valley. Easter time held the sweetest scent of all in  my grandmothers  garden.IMG_7705

My childhood bedroom was in the front of the big old  house, but the sweet scent of  orange blossoms reached  across the rose garden, past the camellia bushes and floated through the window to wake me each morning. First I heard the slow, rhythmic clipping of my grandmothers flower shears, then the sound of water gurgling around the rose bushes and finally I woke to the most beautiful fragrance on earth, a freshly opened orange blossom. Well, actually thousands of orange blossoms since their tree was at least 12 feet tall and wide. The scent was so rich I would lie there and drink it in for the longest time before getting up for the day.

At breakfast, as grandpa made “flapjacks” for my brother and I, my grandmother would come in from her morning “chores” and leave the back door open to “air” the house. The scent would follow her inside like a  big fluffy cloud blowing along in a soft breeze. The scent of pancakes, syrup and orange blossoms still mingle together in my mind when I pass a blooming orange tree. And, now I have my own tree.

For my first Mother’s Day, following the birth of my first granddaughter, my daughter gave me a beautiful orange tree along with a rose bush covered in soft peach colored flowers. The little potted tree put out a few blooms the first year and second years but as I stepped out on to our deck this week I stopped in my tracks when I smelled the blossoms and was instantly lost in wonderful memories of days gone by.

Looking at the little tree I see myself as a child and I think of all the lovely times I shared with my grandmother in her garden….and I see all the fun times my granddaughters and I will have in the garden I have created to share with them.

Is there a garden scent that takes you back to fond memories? If you don’t have the plant that evokes those memories maybe it’s time to go get one and plant it in your garden!

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