Friday, July 24, 2009

My daphne walk

Allow me a little boast.

Some plants just grow happily with no effort. Others just up and die on you without so much as a whimper or explanation. Into that latter category would fall:
  1. our dwarf rhododendron plants which I think just took a set against us when they were planted.
  2. the ajuga in certain shady places.
  3. mint. I just can't grow it. I don't know why. People say it is basically a weed. How can I not grow a weed?
  4. lavender. It seems to dry out and whither sadly, evaporating my dream of a French style border.
  5. basil (actually I do know why, the snails eat it in the night).
In our garden we have nine daphne bushes planted along the right of the house next to the side pathway. I don't think I even really knew what daphne was when the gardener suggested planting them 8 years ago. We just said, oh okay whatever you think.

They have just come into flower. Such a lovely rich but astringent scent. When you walk past it wafts through the air, transporting me to another world.

People tell me daphne is hard to grow. But they just love it in our garden. We water and otherwise make no effort, and they thrive. Sometimes the stars are aligned and things just work out right.

Here they are viewed down the pathway.

And here is a close up of the lovely little budlets.

Why hasn't anyone created a daphne perfume? Or maybe they have and I just don't know about it. To answer my own question I have just googled daphne perfume and found a lovely post from March 2008 on Periodic Elements of Style where three different daphne perfumes are compared, from a Kai one to a $10 Demeter. The comparison is made, scientific-girl style, by smelling the perfume and then inhaling the fragrance of the real life plant. You can read this post here.

If there is one thing the wonderful world of the interweb teaches you, it is that if you have a peculiar eccentric or singular obsession, you are probably not alone.


Lee said...

Daphne was my mother's favourite plant and the scent always brings back wonderful memories of the daphne plants she had next to her back porch. Alas, I am a hopeless failure at growing daphne, so I am in awe of your gorgeous daphne bushes. They look wonderful in your garden. Thanks for sharing. Lee :)

Laura said...

How beautiful! If it makes you feel any better my mint always looks as though it is on the verge of death.

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