Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember being entranced with flowers. Actually, my first hypnotic experience with these beautiful and fragrant phenomena took place during the spring of 6th grade. We had acquired a pretty two-level garden with the purchase of our new home, three years earlier. But it wasn’t until that particular spring that I suddenly took notice of the profusion of plump pink peonies that had sprouted in lush bushes, bordering the periphery of our property.
One sunny morning, while I was packing my lunch in the kitchen, I heard mom calling me from outside. I quickly tucked the brown paper bag into my knapsack and ran out toward the yard, slamming the screened door clumsily behind me. As I scurried down the rocky stairs to the garden, I could see mom holding something shiny in her hands. Stepping into the shade of her shadow, she lowered the crumpled silver cone just under my chin to reveal the most exquisite scent I had ever experienced in my life. I gently closed my eyes and inhaled the powdery pink bouquet as a smile slowly settled on my face.
"These are for Miss Walton," mom said and handed me the dew dotted petals tightly wrapped in a bundle of aluminum foil. I skipped all the way to school that eventful morning and only stopped upon reaching my classroom, to give my sweet teacher a little token of spring, and finally, to take my seat in anticipation of the rest of the day.
Sadly, the Mediterranean climate is not well-suited to the production of peonies. Longing to breathe in their distinctive scent, I once bought a small bunch from my florist a few years back. They were grown in Holland, but neither did they have that unique fragrance, nor did they open up after I placed them in water. Instead, they only wilted and seemed heartbroken to be uprooted to this strange environment, removed from their natural habitat.
No better luck did we have with lilacs, another of my childhood favourites. We planted two bushes two years ago and only this spring did we see something that somewhat resembled their robust, purpl-y and perfum-y North American cousin. There is a place for everything and everything in its place, as the old saying goes, and I’ll apply it here to my beloved and greatly missed, cooler climate lovelies.
So, for now, I am grateful for the intoxicating aroma and delicate beauty of such warm weather gems like jasmine, honeysuckle, flowering herbs and woodbine, among other equally quaint and charming blooms, that daintily grace our colourful little garden, here in the hilly and enchanting countryside of Crete.
Thanks for visiting.
Talk to you soon.